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Chapter 27 - The Hollywood Reporter

AVFHC_D4_11_03_07 11/2/07 5:48 PM Page 14 dailyDaytheSaturday, November 3, 2007from AFMhollywoodreporter.com/afmNatural History N.Z. presents ICE WORLDS Narrated by DOUGAL STEVENSONExecutive Produced by RICHARD THOMAS Produced by MAX QUINNWritten & Camara by MAX QUINN Directed by ALISON BALLANCEAT AFM:LOEWS •SUITE 656TEL: 310-899-4505COORDINATION OFFICE:VIRREY LORETO 2426, BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA 1426TEL: 54114.787.9098 FAX: 54114.787.9094EMAIL: america@americavideofilms.comwww.americavideofilms.net


CINE ASIA2 0 0 7Honoree for 2007Exhibitor of the YearBob ValloneDirector and General Manager of Lark International Multimedia, LTD.SPECIAL REPORT NOVEMBER 30Join The Hollywood Reporter and Film Journal International in ourcelebration of “Exhibitor of the Year”, Bob Vallone, honored thisDecember at Cine Asia in Macau.Reaching the largest total distribution of any entertainment daily,The Hollywood Reporter will team up with Film Journal International topublish a special joint section in both publications to spotlight Bob Vallone,Director and General Manager of Lark International Multimedia, Ltd.and UA Cinema Circuit in Hong Kong.Space and Materials Deadline: November 21LA: Alicia Cachuela 323 525-2011alicia.cachuela@hollywoodreporter.comNY: Kelly Calabrese 646 654-5623kcalabrese@hollywoodreporter.comLondon: Alison Smith + 44 207 207-420-6143asmith@eu.hollywoodreporter.comAsia: Ivy Lam + 852 3151-2703ivy.lam@nielsen.comCineAsia.indd 110/30/07 9:44:29 AM


day4_p1,46,48 e 11/2/07 9:03 PM Page 14DayDialoguewith SnjayBhattacharjeep8Saturday, November 3, 2007dailythefrom AFMhollywoodreporter.com/afmPotential strike colors dealsSellers weigh the effectsof any action MondayPhotos: Marsaili McGrath/GETTY IMAGESBy Leslie Simmons“Lonely Dogs” writer Graham Burt, left,and Jacobacci and Associates’ MassimoSterpi mix business and pleasure.Party on the PatioMayer’s soiree is a low key affairThere’s nothing scandalous— no DJ playing loudtrance music for an overflowcrowd, and no neighborsthreatening to call the cops.But Los Angeles-basedattorney Patty Mayer hasnonetheless developed a tantalizingrep for her three daysof parties thrown during theAmerican Film Market.Mayer’s parties are casualbut astutely calculated soireeswhere a clutch of behindthe-scenesmovers and shakersin the indie film world canget away from the lights,music and crowds of the marketand relax at her cozy CulverCity home where a homecookedmeal awaits.As a partner for the pastSee PARTIES on page 46Hostess PattyMayer, left, and¸Francesca BarraBy Stuart KempBuyers and sellers fromaround the globe are abuzz withthe WGA decision to strikebeginning Monday morning andwhat impact that might have asthe weekend dawns at the AmericanFilm Market.The WGA West board andBy Jonathan LandrethLondon-based distributorRevolver has bought U.K. rightsto “Big River Man,” an independentdocumentary about anattempted solo swim the lengthof the Amazon River.Directed by American JohnMaringouin, “Big River” tellsthe story of Slovenian enduranceathlete Martin Strel, who in Februarywaded into the piranhainfestedwaters of the world’swildest river saying that he’dWGA East Council voted unanimouslyFriday afternoon toaccept negotiators’ recommendationand stage a writers strikestarting at 12:01 a.m. PT Monday.News of the pens down sweptthrough the halls here, finallyputting an end to any hopes thatSee STRIKE on page 48London’s Revolver dives infor doc on ‘Big River’ swim“I saw the film at Torontoand have never been soconvinced of thecommercial potential ofa documentary. ”— Samantha Horley, managingdirector of worldwiderights-handler Luminaswim all of its 3,393 environmentallyendangered miles.“I saw the film at Toronto andhave never been so convinced ofthe commercial potential of a doc-See “BIG RIVER” on page 46BBC Films joinsLeft Bank for‘Damned’ movieBy Stuart KempBBC Films is teaming withAndy Harries’ startup productionbanner Left Bank Pictureson the Peter Morgan-penned“The Damned United,” which isbeing repped at the AmericanFilm Market by Ealing StudiosInternational.See “DAMNED” on page 46


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day4_p3,42 11/2/07 8:27 PM Page 3Day 4 Saturday, November 3, 2007newsAFM Daily EditionOFFICE:Loews Hotel, Santa MonicaRoom 447Phone: (310) 455-7307Fax: (310) 455-7305JOHN KILCULLENPublisherERIC MIKASenior VP, Publishing DirectorELIZABETH GUIDEREditorE D I T O R I A LDAVID MORGANDeputy EditorSTEVE BRENNANInternational EditorDEEANN J. HOFFDirector, ArtGREGG KILDAYFilm EditorSTUART KEMPUK Bureau ChiefJONATHAN LANDRETHAsia EditorGREGG GOLDSTEINFIlm ReporterKEVIN CASSIDYSenior Editor InternationalCHAD WILLIAMSInternational News EditorJACKIE VUONGSenior DesignerPATRICK HIPESCopy ChiefKIRK HONEYCUTTChief Film ReviewerA D V E R T I S I N GROSE EINSTEINVP, Assoc. Publisher, Sales & MarketingALISON SMITHInternational Sales ManagerANDREW GOLDSTEINAcct. Manager, Independent FilmsIVY LAMAsia Sales & Marketing ManagerO P E R A T I O N SKELLY JONESProduction DirectorGREGG EDWARDSProduction Manager, FeaturesCopyright ©2007 Nielsen Business Media, Inc. All rightsreserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,stored in any retrieval system or transmitted, in any formor by any means — electronic, mechanical, photocopying,recording or otherwise — without the prior writtenpermission of the publisher.WGA picking up talks SundayWGA West, East working to avoid Monday writers strikeBy Carl DiOrioand Leslie SimmonsThe federal mediator in theWGA’s contract talks has summonednegotiators to a last-ditchmeeting, set for 10 a.m. Sunday, inan effort to avoid a writers strike.The place for the meeting —just called by Juan Carlos Gonzalezof the Federal Mediation &Conciliation Service — hasn’tbeen pinned down yet. The dramaticallypositive developmentBy Gregg KildayThe flood of private equitymoney that has rushed into thefilm industry in recent years mayslow but will probably continueto flow — and not dry up likeprevious sources of financing.A writers strike would nothave an immediate effect on theindie film scene, but an actorsstrike, if it should happen, wouldbe more serious — though itcould open up opportunities forforeign productions to win U.S.distribution.And the tax incentives andrebates that make filming in anumber of U.S. locales moreattractive should be approachedFriday evening follows news earlierFriday that the WGA Westboard and WGA East Council hadaccepted a negotiating committeerecommendation and set a writersstrike for 12:01 a.m. Monday.Barring a weekend agreementto forestall the walkout, picketsare expected at studios and networkson both coasts.“We have 48 hours, and whatwe really want to do is not strikeand come to a resolution,” JohnBowman, chair of the WGA’sPanelists Roy Salter, left, Bob Hayward, Morgan Recter and David MolnerPrivate equity dollars flowingActors strike would dent indie filmwith caution because all the legalwork that sometimes surroundsthem can make arranging filmfinancing even more complicatedand costly.See FINANCE on page 42By Gregg Kildaynegotiating committee, said at anews conference Friday toannounce the strike decision.Alliance of Motion Picture &Television Producers presidentNick Counter heads the managementnegotiating team.It also was recently disclosedthat Los Angeles Mayor AntonioVillaraigosa has connected withreps of the guild and the studiocompanies in an attempt to gettalks back on track. The mayorSee WGA on page 42Intandemhas fundsfor ‘Blown’By Stuart KempFilmmakerMarthaFiennes hasenlistedU.K.-basedsales andfinancehouse IntandemFilms toput together Newtonthe financing on her $15 million-budgetedespionagethriller “Blown.”Fiennes, who directed“Chromophobia” and “Onegin,”is gearing up to helm“Blown,” which details thestory of a ruthless MI5 agentworking in the world of espionage.See “BLOWN” on page 42Film Incentive born at marketNew Jersey-based Tax Credits, which specializes in securing andmonetizing tax credits, and London-based International FilmFinance, which assists in film financing transactions, have joinedforces to launch the new Film Incentive Loan Program at the AmericanFilm Market.The program will allow production companies to collateralizetheir film incentives. The venture will be supported by a $400 mil-See TAX on page 42hollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)3


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day4_p6 digest d 11/2/07 8:42 PM Page 6Day 4 Saturday, November 3, 2007newsdigest‘Protege’ scores at Chinese fest“Crash” producer Mark Harris presented mainland Chinesecop-thriller “Protege” with a Gold Angel award at the first ChineseAmerican Film Festival on Thursday on the sidelines of theAmerican Film Market. Harris, who has a couple of Chinarelatedprojects in development, gave out the awards celebratingChinese culture in front of a crowd of about 600 Chinesefilm-world celebrities and hangers-on gathered at the DGA inLos Angeles. “Protege,” directed by Yee Tung-shing, is a HongKong-China-U.S. co-production made in part by veteran Hollywoodproducer Andre Morgan, a co-organizer of the festival.Eight other little-known Chinese films also got Gold Angelawards, granted, organizers said, for strengthening U.S.-Chinaties, encouraging new filmmakers, preserving Chinese heritageand serving the community. The 33-film festival will run atLaemmle Theaters, Santa Monica College and select theaters inSan Francisco through Nov. 25.Voltage plugs ‘Tortured, ‘100 Feet’Voltage Pictures, the partnershipbetween sales veteran NicolasChartier and producer DeanDevlin, has been tallying up salesfor two of its titles: the crimethriller “Tortured,” starring LaurenceFishburne as the head of aFishburneJanssencrime syndicate who’s beinginvestigated by the FBI, and thesupernatural thriller “100 Feet,” starring Famke Janssen as anabused housewife who kills her husband in self-defense andthen realizes her house is possessed by his spirit.Vigalondo has time for ICMICM has signed Spanish writer-director Nacho Vigalondo to itslist of clients. Vigalondo’s first feature, the Spanish sci-fi film“Timecrimes,” recently was acquired by Magnolia Pictures for a2008 theatrical release. It won best feature honors this year atAustin’s Fantastic Fest this year. HDNet Films internationalsales chief Laird Adamson is repping the film at AFM. Duringthe market, ICM will be selling remake rights to the comic feature,which centers on a man who travels back in time andmeets himself, leading to all sorts of chaos.Babelgum pairs with EncountersGlobal Internet TV network Babelgum said that it has partneredwith the U.K.’s Encounters Short Film Festival to broadcastshort films via its Internet site. Babelgum subscribers includetalent scouts from major production houses worldwide who willbe able to screen films regardless of where they are or whetherthey attend Encounters. The Encounters Short Film Festivaltakes place in Bristol every November.CorrectionThe photo was incorrect in a story about NZ Films’“The Tattooist” in Wednesday’s edition. The photo shownwas “Diary of the Dead.”Five in a rowJohn Lesher, left, Chris McGurk, Nick Meyer, Peter Adee andDanny Rosset hit the town Thursday for the Paramount VantageInternational and Overture Films party at Tengu in Santa Monica.‘Stone’s War,’ ‘Satanas’big deals for Little Film Co.By Gregg GoldsteinThe Little Film Co. is liningup some big sales on a pair ofprojects: the supernatural actionflick “Stone’s War” and thethriller “Satanas.”Finnish writer-director MarkoMakilaakso’s “War” starsAndrew Tiernan (“300”) as theleader of American and Finnishsoldiers pushed into Russian territory,where he discovers asecret far more terrifying thantheir battle. The Lithuania FilmStudios feature sold to Scanboxin Scandinavia, Equinoxe inCanada, Media One in Italy,Spentzos Film in Greece andQuality Films in Mexico. Additionalterritories are expected toBy Stuart Kempclose soon.Andres Baiz’s “Santanas” isbased on Mario Mendoza’s novel,which tells three intwerwovenstories of love, sex, money, powerand revenge, and how people’sactions inadvertently affect eachother. The film is Columbia’sofficial foreign-language Oscarentry. Distribution deals for theDynamo & Rionegro Produccionesfilm were closed in Spainwith Alta Films and in Mexicowith Gussi.Robbie and Ellen Little’s LittleFilm Co. recently executiveproduced Courtney Solomon’s“An American Haunting” andGavin Hood’s Oscar-winning“Tsotsi,” which it also is sellingat AFM.•The Works finds ‘Joy’ for U.K.Alexandra Wyman/WIREIMAGE.COMU.K. indie the Works U.K. Distributionhas tuned into thesounds of “Joy Division,” a documentaryfrom Grant Gee aboutthe 1970s British indie rock band.The British distributor hasobtained U.K. rights from Katapultfor the film, which containsretrospective contributions fromthe remaining band members aswell as footage from the band’sformer label chief, Tony Wilson,who died this year.The deal was negotiated byMark Ankner of Endeavor, withSee “JOY” on page 46hollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)6


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day4_p8_dialogue-Bhattacharjee c 11/2/07 7:20 PM Page 1Day 4Saturday, November 3, 2007In July, Sanjay Bhattacharjee was appointed CEO ofprivately held Phat Phish Motion Pictures. The 2006spinoff of director Anand Surapur’s 10-year-old advertisingand music video production house made its firstsplash in Toronto this year with the well-reviewed blackand-whitefeature “Frozen.” The Mumbai-based startuparrived at the American Film Market, where Bhattacharjeetold The Hollywood Reporter Asia editor JonathanLandreth that he is in talks with veteran sales agentKathy Morgan to help secure international distributionfor his next projects, including “The Stamp Collector.”The Hollywood Reporter:Tell us about “Frozen” and PhatPhish’s hopes for its biggestfilm yet.Sanjay Bhattacharjee: It’s arelationship betweenfather and daughterliving in harsh conditionsin Ladakh. Thefather is an apricot jamseller and their life is tough, butthey are pulling along. Then theIndian army moves in to this battlefrontfor India and Pakistanbordering Tibet, and it changestheir lives. We felt it’s such a universalfilm. It’s happening in Iraqnow. It’s the same story. It’sabout how they deal with this.THR: Black-and-white featuresare rare today. Why’d you do it?Bhattacharjee: Interestingly,vital statsSanjay BhattacharjeeNationality: IndianTitle: CEO, Phat PhishMotion PicturesProjects at AFM: “Frozen,”by Shivajee Chandrabhushan;“The Stamp Collector,”by Francesca D’Amico;“The Fakir of Venice,” byAnand SurapurNotable achievements:“Frozen” won the jury awardat the Osian Film Festival inNew Delhi. The only Indianfilm in Toronto’s Discoverysection, it has screened atLondon and Palm Springs.dialoguewe shot the film in color, but thenwe did the post to make it blackand white in L.A. Because weweren’t happy with what we shotin India. People who have paidmoney to see the film,their first reaction hasbeen, “Stunning!”THR: The film was shotin Hindi and Ladakh. What challengedoes that present forNorth American territories?Bhattacharjee: The Europeanaudience is used to reading subtitles— the film has English subtitlesthroughout — but it is Americawhere you find the real challenge.Post-Toronto we had some(North American) offers, butEuropean territories will be moreeasily accessible. Our challenge,and we are absolutely positiveabout it, is getting distribution inAmerica. Cameron Bailey, theToronto Film Festival director,said when he saw “Frozen” inBombay that the film could havecome out of Tibet or Tokyo orBrazil, Argentina, Mexico, anywhere.If we are not able to get itto the American public, it will bea failure on our part. Finding distributionon the American EastCoast and West Coast will be relativelyeasier than in the Midwest.THR: How will you make “TheStamp Collector,” the 1947coming-of-age story about aHindu girl from Pakistan beingmoved to a Christian missionaryschool in India?Bhattacharjee: Carli Posner,the American independent producer,is based in L.A., but theentire story is in India. PhatPhish will get below-the-lineproduction funds, and theAmerican side will do the abovethe-linefunds. It was shortlistedfor development at Sundance,but Sundance or no Sundance,we’re completely committed.THR: Why don’t you like theterm “Bollywood”?Bhattacharjee: A countrythat produces a thousand films ayear … could have come up witha name of their own. That’s myonly issue, nothing else. Being acopycat, maybe that’s why PhatPhish is not part of Bollywood.THR: You describe Phat Phish asalternative. To what?Bhattacharjee: We are tryingto make independent cinema.The challenge is big. There’s ahuge thing called Bollywood. It’scash-rich and can swallow youup. They are tested and proven,there is a track record. But what’sinteresting is that there’s no competitionbecause everybodywants to play it safe. Everybodywants big stars, but for us, whatwe are focusing on is the script.That is our star. A personal example:I was watching “ForrestGump” in Delhi with my motherand I saw her crying. I actuallyfirst saw it as a student at UCLAin a Westwood theater, and I sawpeople crying there, too. It’s astory that is connected. The challengeis to find those stories.THR: Has “Frozen” done wellin India?Bhattacharjee: We have notreleased the film in India.We had offers from big distributioncompanies, even beforeToronto. I have to give creditto Mira Nair. She is showing usthe way. Because we don’t havebig fund resources, what we aredoing is going to the festivals,piggy-riding on the festivalbranding, then we try to finddistribution in the West first,then take it to India. •video onlineA complete interviewcan be found athollywoodreporter.comhollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)8


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COMINGSOONAFM 2007LOEWS HOTEL • Suite #653mobile: 310-435-7307mobile: 818-694-4536L.A. office tel: 818-788-0003fax: 818-788-2333www.cinamour.comHigh school graduates find their lives hanging in the balance when a mysteriouscreature attacks their boat. Only by sacrificing each other, one at a time, can thesurvivors make it to shore. Who deserves to die next?FROM MEXICO WITH LOVEDramatic Feature Film 1 x 96 mins. CompletedHector Villa, physically tough, but emotionally self-destructive isone of the millions of illegal aliens vying for a new life in the US,but Hector is no fruit picker – he aspires to be a pro boxer. Withthe support of washed-up trainer Billy Jenks he prepares for anuncertain future and in the end will learn that it takes more thananger to win in the ring.CINAMOUR ENTERTAINMENTJURY DUTYReality Series • 130 x 30 mins.A hit celebrity reality series inU.S. syndication. Eachepisode features a jury of 3celebrities who question witnessesand deliberate overreal-life small claims courtcases. Celebrities appearancesare limited to 5 episodesproviding a fresh slate of facesin each episode.EXTREME PAINTBALL:BEYOND THE PAINTReality Series 13 x 30 mins.Airing on Fox Sports Networkin the U.S., the seriesfollows professional paintballcompetitors who leavetheir old lives and jobs tomake their living in a sportthat used to be a hobby.The series captures teammatesas they work theirway up to the paintball nationalchampionship.DESERT OF DEATHFeature Film 1 x 101 mins.Eight friends (and a YorkshireTerrier) go on acamping trip in the MojaveDesert. In a ghost town theyfind a million-dollars incash. Soon they are pursuedby an ancient, vengefuldemon made of sandand glass and bent on punishingthem. They must destroythe demon before itcan destroy them.BLOODLINESFeature Film 1 x 90 mins.A demented, inbred clanfrom Kentucky abductsyoung women then forcesthem to fight to the death.The victor is raped in hopesof impregnating her so thefamily bloodline may thrive.When they abduct a girlraised in the backwoods ofAlabama her brothers trackher and a feud of countryfolks erupts into a massacre,leaving only the strongest tosurvive.NURSIEFeature Film 1 x 90 mins.A Louisiana night, a hurricaneis brewing, and Dr. Peters(C. Thomas Howell) andhis companion are driven offthe road by an assailant. Hewakes alone, his woundstended by a strange nurse.He learns his companion ismissing and he and othersare prisoners in a hospice oftorture, pain and cruelty. Hemust fight and outwit nursieand her deranged brother ifhe is to survive this BayouHell.Cinamour 11 03 07.indd 110/26/07 1:40:21 PM


day4_p11_rev1 b 11/2/07 2:12 PM Page 11insideReviews in brief . . 14, 36“Mad Detective,”“Sakuran” . . . . . . . . . . . 38“Look,” “Body of War” . . 40Day 4The lives of British writerChristopher Isherwood andAmerican portrait artist DonBachardy and the love theyshared overreview three decadesgive any documentarianarich and won-BYKIRKHONEYCUTTthe bottom lineA poignant,thoughtful docuabout theextraordinarypartnership ofChristopherIsherwood andDon Bachardy.derful gift.Even a klutzcould hardlymake a badmovie aboutthese compellingfigures.Thankfullythough, GuidoSanti andTina Mascaraare superbfilmmakers,fully alive in their terrific film“Chris & Don: A Love Story” toall the undercurrents of art, socialclass, sexual orientation, challengingrelationships and, mostespecially, the touching love storyat the heart of their film. Thedocumentary is a natural for festivalsbut strong enough to haveimpact in art house venues inNorth America and Europe.The film deploys a number oftechniques to relate the story,and every one works. Thisincludes time spent over threeyears with the surviving partner,Bachardy, as he continues topaint, bicycles all over SantaMonica and reminiscences abouthis dear companion.There also are interviews withfriends and colleagues, amazinghome movies shot by the twolovers, animation sequences,re-enacted scenes with actorsposing as key characters — athing that usually misfires but inthis case does not — and readingsfrom Isherwood’s diaries byMichael York.The two met on a Santa Monicabeach, in a section frequentedby gays, in 1953. Isherwoodcame to the U.S. in 1939, havingalready written his novel “Mr.Norris Changes Trains” and theshort story collection “Goodbyeto Berlin” — the inspiration forthe play “I Am a Camera” andsubsequent stage and film musical“Cabaret. He was 49. Don,who was with his older brotherTed, was 18.Despite a 30-years age difference,a few affairs with others andperiods of separation in the early’60s, the two shared a love and afriendship that lasted until Isherwooddied in 1986. Pictures andhome movies show a handsomemiddle-aged man who can’t helpsmiling in the company of such abeautiful, well-built boy. The boytoo beams at the camera, his joyunmistakable. As they grow older,the connection grows stronger ineach photograph.There was obviously a menteringaspect to their relationship:Chris became the father he couldnot otherwise be, taking theyouth to Europe, introducinghim to such friends as AldousHuxley, Igor Stravinsky, TennesseeWilliams and MontgomeryClift — many of whomwould later pose for Don theartist — and encouraging andsupporting his study of art.Their age difference meantnothing to them but a lot to others.Don would feel the dismissivenessof Chris’ famous friends.He thought about leaving, toreclaim his independence andexperience the kind of sexual freedomChris enjoyed when heroamed Berlin in the ’30s insearch of handsome boys. In theend, their love proved too strongfor any permanent separation.Saturday, November 3, 2007Novelist Christopher Isherwood,left, and artist Don Bachardy‘Chris & Don: A Love Story’The most touching sequencesrevolve around the death of Isherwood.In his final six months,Don painted Chris every day, sothat his death was “something wewere doing together.” The drawingsoften catch the agonies of adying man but with an aching tenderness.When Chris finallyexpired, Don spent the day drawinghis corpse. He says he did sobecause he could imagine hismentor urging him on, saying,“That’s what an artist would do.”Don takes a breath and adds:“And that’s what an artist did do.”more onlineFull review andcredits available athollywoodreporter.comhollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)11


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day4_p14,36_revsinbrief b 11/2/07 2:13 PM Page 14Day 4 Saturday, November 3, 2007reviews in briefprominently Tom Richmond’s somber cinematictones and irreal scopes.— Duane Byrge“Sleuth”“Days of Darkness”(L’age des tenebres)> Sales Co.: StudioCanal> Bottom Line: The final — and funniest —in Denys Arcand’s satirical trilogy aboutWestern civilization.To wrap up his impressive trilogy aboutwhere Western civilization stands in therun-up to and the aftermath of the newmillennium, French-Canadian directorDenys Arcand’s “Days of Darkness”insists that society has entered a newDark Ages. A depressing thought, admittedly,yet “Darkness” (aka “L’age destenebres” or “The Age of Ignorance,”the title it screened under at the Festivalde Cannes’ closing night) is the funniestof the three wonderful films going backto “The Decline of the AmericanEmpire” (1987) and the Oscar-winning“The Barbarian Invasions” (2003). Fordistributors, especially in North Americanand Europe, “Darkness” will be boxofficebliss as this film looks like an arthouse champion.For the first third of his film, the writerdirectorhas the time of his life poking fun atall the flaws and foibles of this dark age —from political correctness to career-obsessedfrigid women.Arcand’s satirical critique of contemporarysociety is that of an acerbic, middleaged(if not Middle Age) male chauvinistcurmudgeon. His views of women are dimindeed. He wants to light up his cigaretteswithout anyone sulking. And he’s pretty sickof cell phones too.— Kirk Honeycutt“Chapter 27”> Sales Co.: Peace Arch Entertainment> Bottom Line: An illuminating descentinto Mark David Chapman’s mind as heprepares to kill John Lennon.Where were you when you heard JohnLennon was killed? I remember it vividly,angling at the curve on Sunset Boulevard bythe Hamburger Hamlet on the Strip andheading for work at the old HollywoodReporter. And ever since then, the questionfor all us early Beatles fans: Why?“Chapter 27” is a smart attempt to distillthe twisted psychology and motivation ofMark David Chapman, which we’ve allsuperficially gleaned through mass-mediareports and intermittent updates on Chapman’sincarceration. A fictional depiction ofChapman’s three days leading up to murderingLennon at the entrance to the Dakota,“Chapter 27” depicts the maddening confluenceof fact, fiction and mania that swirledthrough Chapman’s inner and outer world.Filmmaker Jarrett Schaefer’s smart depictionof Chapman is a compelling dramatizationof the inner mania of Lennon’sassailant. While the film does not purport tobe a bromide for Lennon’s fans, it is aninspired attempt at making sense of what hasalways seemed so senseless. It intelligentlyattempts to offer some measure of cinematicclosure, a valiant attempt at “why.”High praise to the cast and crew. JaredLeto is mesmeric as the bloated, derangedChapman. It’s a brilliantly measured performance,evincing the tale of a madmanthrough his own awful rhyme and reason.Technical contributions also conveyChapman’s disjointed mind-set, most“Emotional Arithmetic”> Sales Co.: Celluloid Dreams> Bottom Line: Theatrical melodramaabout a frustrated man and a womanmade to live together but separated bydestiny.“Emotional Arithmetic,” from directorPaolo Barzman, better known for helmingepisodic TV, is a theatrical melodrama thattries to reflect on the weight of history. Itdoes not bring anything new to the notionthat destiny can affect people’s lives or preventthem from reaching happiness. Nordoes it bring anything new to the genre ofmelodrama. Despite a global starry cast thatincludes Susan Sarandon, Gabriel Byrne,Max von Sydow and Christopher Plummer,the film — a rehash of Holocaust themes —has only limited potential in art houses.The film is designed like a stage play. Ithardly leaves the house or garden; mostsequences bring together two or three of thecharacters who reveal their past stories to theaudience in a classical albeit tedious pathtoward a climax.— Gregory Valens“Shake HandsWith the Devil”> Sales Co.: Bankside Films> Bottom Line: A flatly executed take onthe 1994 Rwandan genocide.The last time we saw a portrayal of French-Canadian Lieutenant Romeo Dallaire, it wasin 2005’s “Hotel Rwanda,” where he lookedan awful lot like Nick Nolte, playing a charactercalled Col. Oliver. But that acclaimed filmessentially rendered the horrific events of theRwandan genocide as seen through the eyesof hotel manager Paul Rusesabagina.Now, Dallaire’s point of view, as the overseerof that ill-fated 1993 United Nationspeacekeeping initiative, gets its very ownscreen time in “Shake Hands With the Devil,”with Canadian actor Roy Dupuis giventhe assignment.Unfortunately, in the hands of directorRoger Spottiswoode (“Tomorrow NeverDies,” “Turner & Hooch”), working from ascript by Michael Donovan, the telling provesto be an episodic and stoically talky affair,devoid of the raw drama and human emotionthat made “Hotel Rwanda” so compelling.The end result plays like a particularly blandTV movie and, with the exception of Canada,where the film is being distributed theatricallyby Seville Pictures, the smaller screen will likelybe a better fit in other markets.— Michael Rechtshaffenhollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)14


BIRCH TREE ENTERTAINMENT • LOEWS HOTEL SUITE #451Birchtree_D4_11_03_07.indd 111/1/07 6:24:52 PM


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afm-feat_day4_france b_ph 11/1/07 7:34 PM Page 17special report:france“In the Electric Mist”Saturday, November 3, 2007 • Day 4FreedomFilmsBy Rebecca LefflerIs the the traditionallyinsular French filmsector sacrificing itsidentity for the sakeof English-language,Hollywood-style fare?French might be the language of love, but English has proven tobe the language of movies in Gaul, with English-language filmsbecoming all the rage in the territory. Indeed, France finally isstarting to embrace globalization as more and more French directorsand producers add ‘le French touch’ to Anglo-Saxon projects.As Hollywood fare continues to monopolize Gallic screens, Frenchproducers are finally taking the “If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em”approach to filmmaking. In 2006, French films nabbed a 45% chunk ofthe market with 84.76 million tickets sold — the best annual performancefor Gallic movies since 1984 — and a whopping 58.4% marketshare during the first trimester of 2007. However, Gaul’s glory dayswere short-lived: French films represented a mere 36% market sharefrom Jan. 1-Sept. 30 compared with a 41.3% share during the sameperiod a year earlier. Hollywood, however, boasted a 50.7% markethollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)F-1


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afm-feat_day4_france b_ph 11/1/07 7:35 PM Page 20Day 4Saturday, November 3, 2007special reportfranceshare in France for the first nine months ofthe year, up from 48.3% in 2006.In response to such a gap, the traditionallyinsular, Anglophobic French filmindustry is starting to embrace the Hollywoodmodel with a series of French-madefilms in English in production and a slewof local talent making the long trip abroad.Actor-director Mathieu Kassovitzbranched out into English-language blockbusterterritory in 2000 with “Gothika,”starring Halle Berry, and after lending hisfamous face to Steven Spielberg’s“Munich” is back behind the camera withthe early 2008 release “Babylon A.D.,”starring Vin Diesel, Michelle Yeoh, GerardDepardieu and Charlotte Rampling.“The French represent a different pointof view that comes from not havinggrown up in this culture,” says GaryUngar, Kassovitz’s Los Angeles-basedmanager. “Hollywood is desperate to findother formulas than the ones alreadyused.”Produced by Alain Goldman’s LegendeEntreprises, “Babylon,” the more than€50 million ($71.5 million) adaptation ofMaurice G. Dantec’s sci-fi novel “BabylonBabies,” was co-produced by Kassovitz’sMNP Entreprise, Canal Plus and 20thCentury Fox with the participation ofCzech Okko Production.“Little by little, the French are discoveringthat we can make money outside ofjust the French market,” Goldman says.“It’s because we’re finally saying thateffectively, there will be a potentially largeraudience, and that will allow us to makea more expensive film.”Goldman’s latest production, the EdithPiaf biopic “La Vie en Rose,” has been ahuge commercial and critical success thisyear, with more than 5 million tickets soldin France and more than $10 million madeat the U.S. boxoffice.“We don’t just say ‘we’ll translate a storyinto English.’ We have to remain true towhat we are. If we had made ‘La Vie enRose’ in English, it would have failed,”Goldman says.As French producers like Goldman continueto look toward the internationalmarket and French talent becomes moreand more ubiquitous on Americanscreens, is the global film industry on theverge of an identity crisis?“The big problem today is how to identifyfilms. If we talk about films like products,the cinema needs recognizable productsfor its identity,” says actor-turneddirectorVincent Perez, whose “TheSecret,” starring David Duchovny andOlivia Thirlby, was released in Gaul inFrenchConnectionsRising Gallic stars coming to a theater near youou’ll see them popping up all over the place, but who are these mysterious young thespiansYwith the French accents invading U.S. screens? As Marion Cotillard continues to make headlinesstateside for her award-winning performance in “La Vie en Rose” and Vincent Casselmonopolizes the “bad guy” roles in major U.S. blockbusters, Gallic talent are becoming householdnames in America. Everyone knows Gerard Depardieu, Juliette Binoche and Daniel Auteuil,but — voila! — the next generation of young Gallic talent has arrived.The “It” Couple>> Yvan Attal and Charlotte Gainsbourg (pictured right)Move over Brangelina, France has its own cinema royalty.After roles in Steven Spielberg’s “Munich” and “The Interpreter”opposite Nicole Kidman, Attal is back on internationalscreens in Brett Ratner’s “Rush Hour 3,” in which heplays an Americaphobic-turned-U.S.-loving cab driver.The actor-director is set to star in an upcoming episode ofFox’s “Prison Break” and will direct a short film in the“Paris, je t’aime” follow-up, “NY, I Love You.” Attal previouslydirected Gallic the feature films “And They LivedHappily After” and “My Wife is An Actress” starring hisreal life wife and actress, Gainsbourg. The daughter ofBritish actress Jane Birkin and French singing legend Serge Gainsbourg, she has revamped herfamily name at home and abroad. The actress graced U.S. screens with roles in AlejandroGonzalez Inarritu’s “21 Grams” and Michel Gondry’s “The Science of Sleep” and soon will beseen in the Bob Dylan biopic “I’m Not There” and James Ivory’s “City of Your Final Destination,”opposite Anthony Hopkins and Laura Linney.The Leading Men>> Romain DurisOne of France’s hottest young actors, Duris began his career in Cedric Klapisch’s hit comedies,including “L’auberge espagnole” which made almost $4 million at the U.S. boxoffice when it wasreleased stateside in 2003. After a small role in James Ivory’s “Le Divorce,” Duris is back behindHollywood’s lens in Gilles Bourdos’ English-language drama “Afterwards” opposite John Malkovichand Evangeline Lilly.>> Melvil PoupaudAlhough Poupaud (pictured left) might recently starred in Zoe Cassavetes’ romantic comedy“Broken English,” the actor is having no problem mastering the language of Shakespearein front of the camera. Poupaud, who took a turn behind the camera last yearwith his eponymous feature film “Melvil,” played a bourgeois French artist in “LeDivorce” and a wandering photographer in Danielle Arbid’s Franco-Lebanese coproductionwith MK2 “The Lost Man,” which screened at this year’s Festival de Cannes.Poupaud will be back with Sean Ellis’ “The Broken” and Raoul Ruiz’s Charlemagne epic“Love & Virtue” and will lend his voice to the Wachowski brothers’ “Speed Racer.”Gorgeous Gauloises>> Melanie ThierryMelanie Thierry might only be 5-foot, 2-inches tall, but the petite actress is on to big things at homeand abroad. The star of the sci-fi thriller “Chrysalis” soon will invade U.S. screens with roles in MathieuKassovitz’s “Babylon A.D.” and Jerome Salle’s “Largo Winch,” with Kristin Scott Thomas.>> Clemence PoesyAfter charming children worldwide as Fleur Delacour in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,”Poesy will be back on international screens in 2008 in Focus Features’ dark mobster comedy/suspense thriller “In Bruges,” directed by Martin McDonagh and co-starring Colin Farrell, RalphFiennes and Brendan Gleeson. The starlette also plays a leading role in the historical drama “War& Peace,” an English-language European co-production set to air on France 2 in November.Rebecca Lefflerhollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)F-2


THE BEST OF VISUAL EFFECTS IN PARISTwo days of conferences and casestudies to discover the best ofdigital production and visualeffects in France, including the latestachievements by L’E.S.T, La Maison, Mikros Image, MAgic.lab,Studio Duran Duboi, Buf Compagnie, Mac Guff Ligne,Def2Shoot, Trimaran, Reepost, Cube Creative ComputerEntertainment, Eclair, TeamTO, Sparx FX, Ubisoft, etc..Two days to meet with over 600 decision makers from thefrench film, broadcast and digital industries.Two days to discover the latest software innovationsdevelopped by e-on software, Total Immersion and Realviz.Full programme and access conditions available onwww.parisfx.frMassMedia_D4_11_03_07.indd 110/31/07 5:42:32 PM


afm-feat_day4_france b_ph 11/1/07 7:36 PM Page 22Day 4Saturday, November 3, 2007special reportfranceOctober. Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp, thepioneers of French-made, exportablefilms, have yet to sign a U.S. distributorfor the genre-crossing supernaturalthriller/love story/drama about a mother’sspirit transferred to her daughter’sbody.“Here, the film isn’t seen as a Frenchfilm; they see it as an American movie,”Perez says. “But in America, it’s not seenas an American film.”Besson’s EuropaCorp has been a majorplayer on the international market foryears, and though produced by the Parisbasedstudio, many of its projects will beconsidered “American movies” when theybow stateside in the coming months. Thecompany will release Kristen Sheridan’s“August Rush,” starring Keri Russell andFreddie Highmore; Michel Gondry’s “BeKind Rewind,” starring Jack Black andDanny Glover; and James De Monaco’sEthan Hawke starrer “Staten Island”alongside Why Not Prods.Besson and company are also in postproductionon Pierre Morel’s “Taken,”starring Liam Neeson and Maggie Grace,which is set for a February release date inFrance and co-produced by U.S. major20th Century Fox. Fox also will releaseGallic helmer Alexandre Aja’s horror flick“Mirrors,” starring Kiefer Sutherland,with Romania’s Castel Film.Hollywood certainly has its eye on Aja,who helmed the recent remake of thehorror classic “The Hills Have Eyes” andis working on “Piranha,” a remake of JoeDante’s 1978 dark parody of StevenSpielberg’s “Jaws.”“Each country in Europe goesthrough a cycle where it’s deliveringinteresting filmmakers,” says Gold CircleFilms’ Paul Brooks, who producedFrench director Yann Samuell’s secondromantic comedy, “My Sassy Girl,” starringElisha Cuthbert and Jesse Bradford.“There are a lot of really interesting filmmakerscoming out of France rightnow.”As American producers continue toshop for filmmakers in France, smallerGallic production companies are provingthat films don’t necessarily need supportfrom U.S. studios in order to reach awider, international audience.Gaumont, which recently finalized itsdivorce from Sony Columbia, is planningto produce and release at least oneEnglish-language movie a year. TheFrench major is in postproduction onSean Ellis’ psychological thriller “TheBroken” and casting for VincenzoNatali’s “Splice.” Gaumont also is unveil-ParisMatchUnique screenwritingprogram unitesAmerican scribes withFrench resourcesour screenwriters head to an abbey out-of Paris for six weeks of writing,“Fsidefine dining and private tours of the region’sfinest culture and countrysides.” No, the WGAstrikes haven’t led the guild’s members toseek early retirement in vacation towns acrossthe globe. These particular writers — JamesGreer, Howard Himelstein, Randy Howze andMark Wheaton — are in Royaumont afterbeing selected for the Autumn Stories residencyprogram.The Franco-American Cultural Fund and theIle de France Film Commission have joinedforces to offer American screenwriters thechance to finalize their projects at the RoyaumontAbbey for a six-week program to honetheir writing, visit shooting locations and meetFrench film industry professionals. The aim ofthe program is to establish a Franco-Americanculture exchange by combining American projectswith French resources.From Oct. 1-Nov. 12, the group resides inRoyaumont, a bucolic abbey built during the13th century just 20 miles north of Paris. Eachof the writers were selected for their screenplaysthat take place in or around the Parisregion.Greer’s “The Bright Side” focuses on anAmerican writer who moves to the French countryside.He most recently scripted a musicalcomedy about the life of Cleopatra — tentativelytitled “Cleo” — for Steven Soderbergh andset to star Catherine Zeta-Jones. Himelstein’s“Svengali,” an adaptation of George Dumaurier’s1894 novel “Trilby,” follows three youngEnglish artists in Paris at the end of the 19thFrom left: Howard Himelstein, RandyHowze, James Greer and Mark Wheatoncentury who meet a mysterious hypnotist. Afterpenning “A Good Woman” in 2004, Himelstein’slatest writing and producing endeavor, “My SexiestYear,” starring Harvey Keitel and FrankieMuniz, premiered in October at the HamptonsInternational Film Festival. Howze, whose scriptfor 1988’s “Mystic Pizza” catapulted JuliaRoberts to stardom, is in Royaumont with herlatest project “Just Heloise.” She describes theunique script as “a spiritual screwball comedy”about Joan of Arc coming back to Earth.Wheaton’s more serious “The Hidjab” follows ayoung Arab girl and her French friends in a Parissuburb. Wheaton wrote the script for Danny andOxide Pang’s horror film “The Messengers,”which was released stateside this year.Wheaton and Howze are in the final writingstages, but Himelstein and Greer already havefinished scripts and are using the residency toscout locations and meet industry pros.“A program like this really makes you want toshoot here,” Himelstein says. “There’s so muchrunaway production in Europe because it’scheaper elsewhere, but if you can shoot Parisfrom Paris, it makes everything so much better.There’s nothing like the real thing,”Adds Greer: “Our hosts have been wonderful.We’re really having a great time.”And who wouldn’t with private tours of theLouvre and Versailles, concerts and dinners incentral Paris and even a memorable afternoonwith real French aristocrats in Theuville?“It was like stepping into the past. They werehunting boar and wearing britches,” saysHimelstein of the day spent with the CountessBourbon de Liedekerke, who governs a villageof 60 inhabitants.The experience has been fulfilling both personallyand professionally as the writers scoutlocations, fine-tune their stories and meetpotential French co-producers, talent agentsand technical teams.“Our hosts are so perceptive, so it gives us areal sense of the possibilities here,” Howze says.So if the WGA strike materializes, will thefearless foursome take refuge in their Gallicabbey home?“No, I don’t think we’ll flee to France,” Greersays.Rebecca Lefflerhollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)F-3


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thedailies_FP_k+red 10/30/07 2:35 PM Page 1thedailyAMERICAN FILM MARKETGSMA MOBILE ASIA CONGRESSDUBAI FILM FESTIVALSanta Monica, Calif., USAOct. 31-Nov. 4Founded in 1981, the AFM is the pivotaldestination for independent filmmakers andbusiness people from around the world, with8,000 attendees from more than 70 countries,900 screenings and seminars programmedby leading industry organizations.Macau, Special Administrative Region (China)Nov. 13-15The Mobile Asia Congress is etched in the diariesof mobile industry leaders worldwide as the eventat which the future of wireless services andtechnology is debated.Dubai, United Arab EmiratesDec. 9-16DIFF is an annual nonprofit film eventlaunched in 2004 to establish Dubai as anew regional film hub and to serve as aninstrument for global understandingbetween the Arab and non-Arab worlds.The HollywoodReporter isthe mostcomprehensiveand reliabledaily sourceof entertainmentbusiness newsand information.Our featurestoriesilluminateall aspectsof theindustry.BERLIN FILM FESTIVALBerlin, GermanyFeb. 7-17The Berlinale enjoys the largest audience ofany film festival in the world, with more than19,000 film professionals from 120 countries,including 4,000 journalists, in attendance.Up to 400 films are shown, the vast majorityof which are world or European premieres.FESTIVAL DE CANNESCannes, FranceMay 14-25The Festival de Cannes, founded in 1939,is one of the world's oldest, most influentialand prestigious film festivals. The privateevent is held annually in the resort town ofCannes on the French Riviera.To submit your press packagesor press releases and for morenews, visit us onlinehollywoodreporter.com


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afm-feat_day5_japan e_ph 11/2/07 2:58 PM Page 29special report:japanSaturday, November 3, 2007 • Day 4“Suite Dreams”Risingin theEastBy Julian RyallMoviegoers may beflocking to local productions,but can the boomingJapanese film sectorcontinue to challengeHollywood’s dominance?After thriving in the immediate postwar years,Japan’s movie industry had become a shadow of itsformer self in the 1980s and limped through thefollowing decade living off past glories.But after the most impressive boxoffice showing bydomestic films in more than two decades last year, theJapanese film sector apparently was back with a vengeance.The challenge now, industry insiders say, is keeping themomentum going after Hollywood’s release this year of anumber of big hits.Many positive signals suggest that Japan is ready to takeon Hollywood. Indeed, with a new generation of ambitiousfilmmakers hoping to carry the mantle of such legendarydirectors as Shohei Imamura, Yasujiro Ozu andhollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)J-1


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afm-feat_day5_japan e_ph 11/2/07 2:58 PM Page 32Day 4Saturday, November 3, 2007special reportjapan“We’re still in the early stages of overseas promotion, but thepopularity of ‘Death Note’ has left us all very optimistic.We have done well in Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore,but we’re still trying to get into the U.S. market.”— Fumiko Nagata, Nippon TelevisionAkira Kurosawaand homegrown productionsdrawing large audiences, the industry has achance to recapture some of the magic of yesteryear.“We saw a trend of Korean films doingvery well in terms of sales here in Japan abouttwo or three years ago, but that has droppedoff quite steeply, and Japanese distributorsare not buying them for this market anymore,”says Soya Azusa, a spokeswoman forthe UniJapan film promotion organization.The industry had good reason to give itselfa pat on the back when 2006 figures werereleased in February. Admissions were up2.4% from the previous year to 163.27 million,according to the Motion Picture ProducersAssociation of Japan, while domesticreleases earned a record Y107.75 billion.Of the record total of 821 releases, 417were Japanese, and six homegrown titlessecured hit status by taking in more than Y5billion, the biggest of which was Studio Ghibli’s“Tale From Earthsea,” with Y7.65 billion.Additionally, “Umizaru 2: Test ofTrust” recorded Y6.7 billion, and sister FujiTelevision Network’s title “Suite Dreams”came in with Y5.9 billion.Despite the fact that the three biggestearners at the boxoffice were imports —“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” with$91 million, “Pirates of the Caribbean:Dead Man’s Chest” with $82.8 million and“The Da Vinci Code” with $74.7 million —2006 was an off year by Hollywood standards.In fact, domestic films in Japanearned more than imports for the first timein 21 years.In a bid to compete with this year’s outingsfor Spider-Man, Jack Sparrow and Shrek, anumber of up-and-coming helmers haveunspooled their latest efforts this summer.Nobuhiro Yamashita made a splash withthe high school band comedy “Linda LindaLinda” in 2005 and enhanced his reputationlast year with “The Matsugane PotshotAffair,” a comedic thriller that competed atlast year’s Tokyo International Film Festival.His latest project, “Tennen Kokekko,” basedon a long-running manga series, also hasbeen well received at home.Kazuyoshi Kumakiri’s violent “Freesia” —another title based on a manga — did well atSharpFocusStill photographerturned-filmmakermakesa strong impressionwith first filmOKYO — Mika Ninagawa has long beenTin demand for her skills behind the lensof a still camera, but ever since she wastalked into directing moving images, herlife has become a bit hectic.“I spent a year mulling over the moviethat I wanted to make after Asmik AceEntertainment asked me to direct a filmand said it could be about anything,” Ninagawasays of “Sakuran,” the movie shemade based on the popular manga. “It wasgoing to be such a huge undertaking that Icouldn’t just pick up the first book I sawand make a film out if it.”The film, which generated a strong buzzat this year’s Berlin International Film Festival,was subsequently snapped up for distributionin Germany. “Sakuran” also hasbeen sold in South Korea and Taiwan, anddiscussions on distribution in Hong Kongare at an advanced stage, according toAsmik Ace. Film festivals in the Norwegiancities of Bergen and Oslo will be showingthe film in the coming weeks, as well asCinemania Bulgaria in early November.“I had known the ‘Sakuran’ manga forquite a long time, and I was close to thewriter,” Ninagawa says. “It hadn’t initiallycrossed my mind to make this movie until Ihad a kind of ‘Eureka!’ moment.”Not bad considering it is Ninagawa’sfirst film.“I had always expected making the filmwould be difficult, and it was as tough asI’d imagined,” she adds. “But I had notexpected the hard work we had to put intomarketing the film; that was very tough.”The daughter of renown photographerYukio Ninagawa, Mika wanted to carry overher trademark use of bright colors in stillphotography to the movie, and the subjectmatter clearly lends itself to that approach.“Sakuran” is the tale of the oiran, thehigh-class prostitutes who worked thegeisha houses of the Yoshiwara district ofTokyo in the early 1800s. But the story,which centers on the adventures of Kiyoha,the main character played by AnnaTsuchiya, is not a genteel story of ladiesand their lovers. Ninagawa intentionallystayed faithful to the flashiness of the mangaand set it all to a contemporary soundtrack.The film is a striking counterpoint to thesimilarly themed “Memoirs of a Geisha,”which Ninagawa admits she saw but sayshad no bearing at all on her movie. “I’d forgottenit by the time I started making‘Sakuran,’ ” she says, describing Rob Marshall’stitle as more of a Disney-style film.“It has made me really happy to see somany people coming to see the movie, inthe same way that I’m happy when theycome to see my still photos,” she says.“Japanese of my generation really wantmore products that are relevant to theirlives today.”Julian Ryallhollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)J-2


Loews, Office #737T +1 310 458 6700AFM 2007 SCREENINGSTHE BANK JOBINVITATION ONLY SCREENINGDirector: Roger DonaldsonGenre: Action ThrillerCast: Jason Statham, Saffron BurrowsROMULUS, MY FATHERDirector: Richard RoxburghGenre: DramaCast: Eric Bana, Franka Potente,Marton Csokas, Kodi Smit-McPhee881INVITATION ONLY SCREENINGDirector: Royston TanGenre: Musical ComedyCast: Qi Yu Wu, Mindee Ong,Yeo Yann Yann, Liu Ling LingDESCENTDirector: Talia LugacyGenre: DramaCast: Rosario Dawson, Chad Faust,Marcus PatrickSEPTEMBERDirector: Peter CarstairsGenre: DramaCast: Xavier Samuel, Clarence JohnRyan, Kieran Darcy-Smith, Kelton PellTHE TENDirector: David WainGenre: ComedyCast: Adam Brody, Famke Janssen,Ken Marino, Gretchen Mol,Oliver Platt, Paul Rudd,Winona Ryder, Liev Schreiber,Justin Theroux, Jessica AlbaSHAMODirector: Soi CheangGenre: Martial Arts ActionCast: Shawn Yue, Masato, Dylan Kuo,Francis Ng, Bruce Leung, Annie LiuSTORM WARNINGSCREENING:4 November, 3:00 PMFairmont 2Director: Jamie BlanksGenre: ThrillerCast: Nadia Farès, Robert Taylor,John Brumpton, David LyonsAFTER SEXSCREENING:6 November, 11:00 AMFAIRMONT 1Director: Eric AmadioGenre: Romantic ComedyCast: Jane Seymour, Mila Kunis,Emmanuelle ChriquiSHANGHAI BABYSCREENING:4 November, 7:00 PMFairmont 2Director: Berengar PfahlGenre: Erotic DramaCast: Bai Ling, Luke Goss,Seiko Matsuda, Katja RiemannGary HamiltonManaging DirectorT +1 917 826 2113E gary@arclightfilms.comLiz MackiewiczEVP Worldwide DistributionT + 1 310 567 9337E liz@arclightfilms.comLina MarroneVP International SalesT +1 416 569 1224E lina@arclightfilms.comIan GibbinsGeneral ManagerT +81 (0) 905 582 3981E ian@arclightfilms.comYing YeDirector, Easternlight FilmsT +1 310 341 8592E ying@arclightfilms.comwww.arclightfilms.comArclight_D4_11_03_07.indd 110/29/07 7:25:10 PM


afm-feat_day5_japan e_ph 11/2/07 2:58 PM Page 34Day 4Saturday, November 3, 2007special reportjapan“Test of Trust”the local boxoffice after opening in February.The prolific Kumakiri — he has helmed fivefilms in six years — won a special recognitionaward at the Rotterdam International FilmFestival in 2001 for the quirky comedy “Sorano Ana.”But of all the talents in the Japanese movieworld, special praise has been heaped on acomplete newcomer, Mika Ninagawa, for“Sakuran,” her take on Tokyo’s “pleasurequarters.” (See story on J-2.)While none of these filmmakers is likely toproduce a blockbuster on the scale of the2003 Fuji release “Bayside Shakedown 2” —which was seen by 13 million people andearned Y17 billion at the boxoffice, making itthe top-grossing live-action title in Japanesehistory — the industry has been buoyed bythe news that the celebrated Hayao Miyazakiis back at work on an animated tale with thetitle “Ponyo on the Cliff Top,” his first projectsince “Howl’s Moving Castle,” whichtook in Y19.6 billion after its release inNovember 2004.“Ponyo” will not, unfortunately, have animpact on this year’s figures as it will not bescreened until the summer, but it is virtuallyguaranteed to leave its mark on one area inwhich Japanese movies have traditionallyfailed: markets beyond Japan.Local films don’t travel well partly becauseso few Japanese actors and actresses speakEnglish, according to Roberto De Vido, aJapan-based spokesman for the MPA. Only“Memoirs of a Geisha” star and Oscar nomineeKen Watanabe is recognizable to anAmerican audience, he points out, meaningthat director Rob Marshall was obliged to castEnglish-speaking Chinese actresses in the leadroles in 2005’s “Geisha” — which causedoutrage here.“It is a myopic industry because the domesticmarket is big enough to keep everybodyhappy,” De Vido says. “And if the market hereis large enough, the film studios ask themselveswhether they need to make a story thathas legs overseas.”Nevertheless, a number of local film companiesdo accept that raising their profile inother countries needs to be their next target.Tokyo Broadcasting System produced sevenfeature films in 2006 — including “TheSinking of Japan,” which took in an impressiveY5.2 billion at the boxoffice — and ismaking an effort to raise its profile. The“Twenty years ago it was coolto go and see a U.S. movie,but Japanese films were theabsolute opposite. About fiveyears ago, people stoppedcomparing where a film wasmade and instead chose afilm based simply on whetherit was good or not. If it’sgood, people will watch it.”— Isao Matsuoka,chairman, Toho Co. Ltd.company took part in the Pusan InternationalFilm Festival market in Korea and theTokyo International Film Festival for thefirst time last year as well as making its regularappearances at Cannes and the AmericanFilm Market.“We believe Pusan is the hottest film festivalin Asia, and we see it as a good opportunityto concentrate on sales to Asia,” saysMakito Sugiyama, deputy vp of the contentbusiness department at TBS. “We havereceived good reactions from buyers worldwidethrough these markets and sold ourmovies to dozens of countries.”Elsewhere, Nippon Television’s Film ProjectDepartment is also making progress withsales, particularly with the increase in titlesbeing released theatrically close to the Japaneseschedule, according to Fumiko Nagata ofNTV’s sales division.The company has done particularly wellwith its “Death Note” franchise, which isbased on a manga series that has generated acult following since it debuted in December2003. The first “Death Note” took Y475 millionin its first two days and attracted audiencesof about 306,000, but the second title,“Death Note — The Last Name,” waswatched by nearly 1 million people during thethree-day weekend in July last year when it wasreleased, eventually raking in Y1.2 billion atthe boxoffice.“Basically, Asian countries are buying ourtitles, such as the ‘Death Note’ series,” Nagatasays. “We’re still in the early stages of overseaspromotion, but the popularity of ‘DeathNote’ has left us all very optimistic. We havedone very well in Hong Kong, Taiwan andSingapore, but we’re still trying to get intothe U.S. market. We’ve not reached anyagreements yet, but there are a number ofcompanies that have expressed interest inbuying the ‘Death Note’ title, and we are stillin discussions.”The best domestic performers this yearhave been the work of Fuji Television Network’sMotion Picture Department, with“Monkey Magic” taking $6.5 million in itsfirst weekend in July and opening on a record461 screens. That was eclipsed in September,however, by the release of “Hero,” starringpop star-turned-actor Takuya Kimura.Cleverly, Fuji managed to work into thestory line a strong South Korean angle —and local star Lee Byung-Hun — meaningthat the film was the biggest-ever launch of aJapanese movie in South Korea, with localdistributor Keowon Film getting 250 screensto show the title beginning Oct. 25.With a shrinking population, the Japanesefilm sector will need to emulate the approachand tap into foreign markets if they do notwant to see a repeat of the disastrous declinein the industry that began in the 1970s,when the number of cinema screens fell to amere 1,734 in 1993. That figure has recoveredto the 3,000 level today, and combinedwith clever marketing campaigns, going tothe movies has become a popular pastimeonce more.But the industry is aware that it can’t reston its laurels.“Twenty years ago it was cool to go andsee a U.S. movie, but Japanese films were theabsolute opposite,” says Isao Matsuoka,chairman of Toho Co. Ltd. “About five yearsago, people stopped comparing where a filmwas made and instead chose a film based simplyon whether it was good or not. If it’sgood, people will watch it.” •hollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)J-3


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day4_p14,36_revsinbrief b 11/2/07 2:13 PM Page 36Day 4 Saturday, November 3, 2007reviews in brief“Sleuth”> Sales Co.: Mandate International> Bottom Line: Theatrical thriller startswell, looks great and has terrific stars,but it ends up a downer.Kenneth Branagh’s new version of thecrime caper “Sleuth” looks smashing, and itfeatures several great lines by screenwriterHarold Pinter. But despite top-flight actingfrom Michael Caine and Jude Law, it loses itsgrip in the third act and lets the air out of whatmight have been a memorably gripping film.The idea of Caine doing a remake of the1972 production in which he co-starredbut playing the Laurence Olivier role, andLaw — who already has stepped intoCaine’s shoes in “Alfie” — doing Caine’spart will no doubt intrigue audiences. Thequartet of big names and a tight 86-minute running time also will help, but thefilm’s downbeat tone won’t encouragehuge boxoffice.— Ray Bennett“Trumbo”> Sales Co.: ContentFillm International> Bottom Line: Stirring tribute to blacklistedscreenwriter soars when his work isread by top-tier actors.An invigorating, funny and moving portraitof a Hollywood hero, the new docu“Trumbo” brings the blacklist to life fromthe inside — focusing on what it was like tolive in movie industry exile, and the wisdomgained in the aftermath, for one particularlyfiery artist. Prospects on the documentarycircuit are strong, limited only by a subjectthat moviegoers might assume to be morenarrow than it is.It’s a self-portrait, to a great extent, as thefilm’s most effective passages come straightfrom the man’s typewriter: impassionedspeeches, witty letters and soul-baring confessionsthat he wrote, read by actors whoremind us how lovely it can be simply to sit“Shake HandsWith with the Devil”and listen to a talented actor speak finelycrafted words.The passages display such a love of language— from the sheer fun of silly poetryto the righteous thrill of analyzing anddemolishing spurious arguments — that itwill stir the souls of aspiring screenwriters inthe audience not to mention regular viewerswho treasure their constitutional rights. Notfor nothing is David Strathairn given aprominent part to play here: The rousinganti-McCarthy spirit of “Good Night, andGood Luck” reverberates through hisscenes.— John DeFore“Le voyagedu ballon rouge”> Sales Co.: Films Distribution> Bottom Line: This “Red Balloon” hasmore bad gas than the Hindenberg.Albert Lamorisse’s transcendent 1956 film“Le Ballon Rouge” is more vital than thishodge-podge homage from Taipei filmmakerHou Hsiao Hsien. Weighted withthe dreary ballast of a heavy-themed familysaga and grounded by the conceit ofletting the players ad-lib their dialogue,“Le voyage du ballon rouge” (Flight ofthe Red Balloon) drifts, poofs and ultimatelyflops. Audiences might rightly discernthat this “Balloon” is in both formand content an egg.— Duane Byrge“Why Did I Get Married?”> Sales Co.: Mandate International> Bottom Line: Tyler Perry works his formulaagain, with audience- if not criticpleasingresults.Where’s Madea when you need her? Certainly,the quartet of married couples at thecenter of Tyler Perry’s new dramedy coulduse some of the tough love dosed out by thefilmmaker’s female alter ego. The charactersin “Why Did I Get Married?” — displayinga series of marital dysfunctions that would filla dozen episodes of “Oprah” — make forunpleasant company over two long hours.Working in a similar if slightly morecomedic mode to Perry’s most recent effort,“Daddy’s Little Girls,” the film is set during avacation retreat in Colorado undertaken byfour married couples. These annual sojournsare at the instigation of best-selling pop psychologistPatricia (Janet Jackson), whose ownmarriage to architect Gavin (Malik Yoba) isstrained because of the recent death of theiryoung son in an automobile accident.— Frank ScheckBEST FEATUREFILMMalibu Int’l FF2007AUDIENCE AWARDThe EuropeanIndependent FF2007AUDIENCE AWARDIndianapolisInt’l FF2007SPEED DATINGROMANTIC COMEDY / IRELAND / ENGLISH / 85 MIN / 2007WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY: Tony HerbertCAST: Hugh O’Conor (CHOCOLAT, MY LEFT FOOT), Don Wycherley (VERONICA GUERIN)EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY: Ned Dowd (KING ARTHUR, SHANGHAI NOON)MASTER AVAILABLESCREENING:SAT NOV 3 RD AT 11:00, LE MERIGOT 5, TODAYwww.speeddatingthemovie.comVISIT NONSTOP SALES AT AMERICAN FILM MARKET:LOEWS HOTEL # 540Judith Toth, Sales Executive, mobile: +46 (0) 704 16 99 83info@nonstopsales.net, www.nonstopsales.comhollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)36


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day4_38_revs2 b 11/2/07 2:13 PM Page 38Day 4 Saturday, November 3, 2007reviews‘Mad Detective’VENICE, Italy —Most really smartsleuths in crime fictionpick up on externalclues, but the Kowlooncop in “Mad Detective,”directed by Johnny Toand Wai Ka-Fai, identifies villainsby recognizing a person’sinner personality or personalities,as the case may be.It’s a gift with seriouscomplicationsbecause while his hugeleaps of logic oftenlead to arrests, he losesgrip of his mind andis fired from the police force. Inthe film’s taut, amusing andexciting story, he is brought backto help investigate the disappearanceand possible murder of areviewA cop’s search for a killerends in a hall of mirrors.fellow police officer.“Mad Detective,” whichscreened at the Venice Film Festival,is concise and artful. It willappeal to moviegoers who like copstories fast and furious but alsocomplex and witty, especially as itmostly eschews the ultraviolenceof many Hong Kong crime films.Lau Ching Wan is outstandingas loony copper Bun, who lives upto his extreme reputation by slicingoff his right ear as a retirementgift for the departing police chief.He explains later, wearing a falseear, that he did it because the manhad no inner personality.Bun’s technique involves suchthings as climbing into a suitcasethat is pushed downstairs in orderto picture a crime and re-creatingrobberies using his finger as a gunbefore astonished witnesses.When young officer Ho (AndyOn) asks for his help to solve thecase of a missing cop named Wong— who chased a suspect into thewoods and hasn’t been seen since— Bun immediately suspects thathe’s dead. He digs a grave amongthe trees and climbs in to betteridentify with the situation.Not until Bun buries himselfdoes he fully grasp that Wong isdead and that his partner Chiwai(Lam Ka Tung) killed him.Not only that, but he believesChi-wai has seven different innerpersonalities and is guilty of thesubsequent crime wave involvingWong’s stolen gun.In a giddily entertaining climaxin a hall of mirrors, twodetectives have a gunfight withtwo villains, or possibly nine.Orson Welles would applaud.Ray Bennett‘Sakuran’HONG KONG — Forsome, photographerturned-directorNinagawaMika’s “Sakuran” will be everythingthat the high-profile“Memoirs of a Geisha” was not.Although the film lacks thegravitas of Mizoguchi Kenji’sLife in the brothelsleaves one oiranwanting more.classic “The Sisters of Gion”and the exoticized romance ofRob Marshall’s “Memoirs,”Ninagawa’s vision of womenwith drive, desires and dreamsis a dazzling romp.In the Edo-period Yoshiwaradistrict, Kiyoha (TsuchiyaAnna), a young maid, is sold tothe Tamagikuya brothel andhates it from Day 1. She growsup there and turnsinto a rebellious, contrary,coarse oiran-intraining.(Oiran werean exclusive predecessorto the morerenowned geisha that followed.)As a child, Kiyohalearned about the pettiness andvicious rivalries that spring upin the brothels from her formermentor, Shohi (Kanno Miho).When Shohi leaves the businessafter finding a respectablepatron, the position of supremeoiran falls to Takao (KimuraYoshino), with whom Kiyohadoes not get along. Takao has astruggling artist lover, Mitsu(Nagase Masatoshi, who plays apart in Kiyoha’s eventual rise tothe position.When Kiyoha isn’t navigatingthe Tamagikuya’s politics,she’s daydreaming about herown boyfriend, Soujiro (NarimiyaHiroki). Hoping he mightbe her ticket out, she is crushedat his betrayal of herand throws herselfheadlong into herwork.Kiyoha does winthe interest of a powerfulpatron in the form of asmitten samurai, Kuranosuke(Shiina Kippei). The only questionthat remains is whether it’stoo late for Kiyoha, now ahardened, veteran oiran, toachieve any sort of normal lovingrelationship.While there are a slew ofcompelling supporting charactersin the story, in reality themovie belongs to Tsuchiyacompletely. Transplanting herprofane, tough-chick act from“Kamikaze Girls” might seemmisguided on the surface, butit’s actually a brilliant anachronisticperformance that makesKiyoha a full-fledged character.What separates the two isthe nuance on display.Elizabeth Kerrreviewhollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)38


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day4_40_revs4 b 11/2/07 5:00 PM Page 40Day 4 Saturday, November 3, 2007reviews‘Irina Palm’Marianne Faithfull is unforgettableas a middle-class,middle-aged frump who takes ajob at a sex club in order to raiseenough money for her grandson’slife-saving operation inSam Garbarski’s crowdpleasingcomedy-drama“Irina Palm.”Cheers and applauseerupted after its pressscreening in Berlin,and that reactionshould accompany thisfilm on the way toawards and audienceseverywhere.Mixing pathos andcomedy expertly, withmany funny lines, thescreenplay by MartinHerron and PhilippeBlasband, based on anoriginal script by Blasband,shows a knowinghand in scenes involvingstuffy Little England villagersand the cynical operators of thesex business in London’s Soho.The situation is establishedreviewBYRAYBENNETTOriginallyreviewed inFebruary at theBerlin InternationalFilm Festivalthe bottom lineMarianne Faithfullis wonderfulin a guaranteedcrowd-pleaser.quickly. Maggie’s small grandsonOlly (Corey Burke) will die unlesshe gets to Australia for an operationthat’s only available in Melbourne.The treatment is free, butit will take £6,000 forMaggie’s son Tom(Kevin Bishop) and hiswife Sarah (SiobhanHewlett) to get himthere.The boy’s parents arebroke and Maggie, awidow, already has soldher home to pay forOlly’s treatment. Turneddown by her bank andemployment agencies,Maggie spots a job offerfor a hostess in a Sohodoorway.Full of trepidation,she enters a world shehas never experiencedand of which she has notthe slightest knowledge. In avery funny scene, the worldwearyEastern European clubowner, Miki (Miki Manojlovic),patiently explains that “hostess”Marianne Faithfullchecks out her office.is a euphemism for “whore.” Heexamines her smooth hands andsays she could make a lot ofmoney by masturbating menthat she wouldn’t see as theyplaced their organs through ahole in the wall.Outraged, Maggie flees. Butseeing again how distraught herfamily is, she returns and takesthe job. Another sex worker,Luisa (Dorka Gryllus), patientlyinstructs her in the techniques ofthe job. “The first time is embarrassing,but after that you’ll wankfor England,” Luisa says.Miki gives Maggie her ownbooth and the professional nameIrina Palm, and soon men are liningup for her exceptional ministrations.She even decorates herlittle booth with pictures andknickknacks from home. Withthe promise of making a lot ofmoney, Maggie decides to keepdoing it though she is desperateto make sure no one in her familyor her village finds out whatshe’s doing.That, of course, is where thetension lies as both her son andthe prissy members of her bridgefoursome become ever more curiousabout her daily activities in thecity. The inevitable revelation andthe various reactions to it are hilarious,sad and warming. The onlydiscordant note in the picture is inTom’s behavior when learning ofhis mother’s sacrifice, but it doesserve to heighten the response ofSarah and the other women.The film’s guitar score byGhinzu does much to amplifyMaggie’s path from obeying conventionalmores to casting awayworries about what people willthink. Garbarski does not shrinkfrom the harsh realities of the sexindustry, but he also takes time todevelop an unlikely romancebetween Maggie and Miki.Manojlovic deserves highpraise for his handling of theclub owner’s reluctant corruption,but it is Faithfull’s compassionateand knowing performancethat will leave audiencessmiling. •more onlineCredits and morereviews available athollywoodreporter.comhollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)40


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day4_p3,42 11/2/07 8:30 PM Page 42Day 4 Saturday, November 3, 2007newsWGAContinued from page 3—met in person with WGAW presidentPatric Verrone and otherlabor execs Tuesday, and he subsequentlydiscussed the situationwith studio reps.Yet it’s not clear how muchmuscle Villaraigosa is willing toexert to force himself into the situationas an actual deal broker.Before he got into politics,Villaraigosa was a labor organizer.But the mayor has close relationshipson both sides of thelabor-management divide andhas told the parties he needs tomaintain strict objectivity if he’sto succeed in any efforts to fosteran improved dialogue betweenthe WGA and the AMPTP.There also has been speculationthat the AMPTP will delivera new proposal to the guildover the weekend. The mosttroublesome issues to date in theWGA-AMPTP contract talkshave been DVD residuals andnew-media compensation.There have been recent suggestionsamong well-placedindustryites that the studios mayprove more flexible on the latterthan the former. But it’s unclearwhether that’s based on wishfulthinking or actual back channeldialogue between the parties.“Our position is simple andfair,” Verrone said. “When awriter’s work generates revenuefor the companies, that writerdeserves to be paid.”On Thursday night, WGAWbrass told 3,000 writers it wasrecommending a strike action tothe board.“The WGA leadership continuesto mischaracterize the currentprovisions for compensationin new media,” Counter said Fridayprior to word of the Sundaymeeting. “When a consumerpays to view a TV program or afeature film for a limited periodof time, the writer gets a residual.When the consumer pays for apermanent download of a TVprogram or feature film, thewriter gets a residual. ...“It is crucial that we have provisionsthat encourage, not inhibit,our ability to experiment,innovate, analyze and adapt tothe transformative changes confrontingus,” the AMPTP presidentsaid. “We cannot ignore thechallenges of today’s economicrealities, the shifts in audiencetaste and viewing habits and theunpredictability of the still-evolvingtechnology. “Our goal continuesto be to reach a fair andreasonable agreement that willkeep the industry working.”WGAE president MichaelWinship said the decision to strikewas not one “we take lightly.”Winship added there mightstill be time to craft a deal beforethe strike begins, and he urgedthe studios to “come back andbargain fairly.”Villaraigosa was in Seattle onFriday to deliver a morning speechbefore the U.S. Conference ofMayors, but he was expected backin Los Angeles by Friday evening.The WGA’s current film andTV agreement with the AMPTPexpired midnight Wednesday.With the membership meetingThursday and the board andcouncil meetings Friday, guildbrass decided it would be betterto hold off picketing until Mondaythan to mount a strike actionover the weekend.The last major strike by Hollywoodwriters was in 1988, whena 22-week WGA work stoppageeffectively shut down the town.Economic impact on the L.A.economy was estimated to run ashigh as $500 million.“Our sense is we can do someeconomic damage immediate,”Bowman said, adding the pointof the strike is to “inflict as muchdamage as quickly as possible” inorder to bring about a resolution.Picketing plans were beingdisseminated to strike captains,but details of timing and locationwere closely guarded.Guild rank-and-file again distributedfliers at studio and networkssites Friday, following similarearlier “informational” efforts.A WGAE flier read in part:“The studios and networks makebillions from the content we create.All we want is our fair share.They have refused. We don’twant to strike, but we mustdefend the standards of our profession.We ask for your understandingand your support.” •‘Blown’Continued from page 3—Thandie Newton (“Crash”,“Mission: Impossible II”) isattached to play a high-classcall girl in the film, and Intandemis in talks with agencies toattract other talent.Fiennes is working withproducer Shani Hinton, whohas worked on several WoodyAllen movies.FinanceContinued from page 3—Those were a number of thepropositions that the panelistsagreed upon at the annual AFMFinance Conference held Fridayat the Fairmont Miramar Hotelin Santa Monica.But when it came to the questionof whether the collapse ofthe subprime market wouldaffect investments in the film sector,several participants differed.In the morning’s first panel on“Film Financing — Year inReview,” moderated by SteveFayne of Akin Gump StraussHauer & Feld, Comerica Bank’sMorgan Rector argued that themeltdown in subprime lendingwould cause investors to take aharder look at exotic investmentsin other areas.But David Molner of ScreenCapital International, which raisesfilm financing, disagreed, saying:“August was our best monthTaxContinued from page 3—lion credit facility.Tax Credits will introduce thenew program and offer a briefingon film production taxincentives at the DoubletreeSanta Monica Hotel at 10:30a.m. Sunday.“We have successfully set upfunding structures for filmrebates, subsidies and creditsthroughout Europe and Canadaover the past year and saw agreat, complementary opportunityin the states as the filmincentives market there isProduction is scheduled forsecond-quarter 2008.Intandem CEO Gary Smithsaid packaging “Blown” elevateshis company’s ambitionto grow into being “a majorsupplier of quality, commercialfilms.”Added Smith: “We arethrilled to be working withMartha, who is a really creativetalent, and the cast thatthis project is attracting.”this year — hedge funds steppedup allocations when there wasnothing to do in real estate.”Roy Salter of the SalterGroup, which offers financialadvice and transactional support,said that with large financialinstitutions focusing on thesubprime crisis, “it’s becomevery difficult to get the attentionof senior management creditadministrators,” resulting in aslowdown of the fundingprocess. He noted, though, that“the amount of money availablefor an independent producer hasnever been better.”“I don’t think it has sloweddown the funding,” SummitEntertainment COO Bob Haywardsaid, adding that a slowdownis “not necessarily a badthing” since “there has been afew too many movies made.”Acknowledging a productglut, Molner noted that domesticallythis year, 15-20 moviesSee FINANCE on page 48exploding,” IFF CEO JimReeve said. “While consideringsuitable partners, the name TaxCredits Llc. kept surfacing as anethical and professional companywith a national presence.”Tax Credits co-founder BruceDeichl said: “The hardest part inmoving this venture forward wasquantifying the risk of eachstate’s credit or rebate for ourlenders. The key to a “risk-free”and therefore marketable taxcredit lies in the legislation … sowe successfully took on thecharge of getting it changed inseveral states, and the door wasopened for our program.” •hollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)42


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day4_p1,46,48 e 11/2/07 8:54 PM Page 46Day 4 Saturday, November 3, 2007newsPartiesContinued from page 1—three years at MitchellSilberberg & Knupp, Mayer specializesin transactional entertainmentlaw, with a sub-specialtyin indie film finance with aninternational flavor.Her idea for the parties sproutedfrom her former London lawfirm’s cocktail parties in Cannes,which take place in a rented villa,as well as dinners she and two colleagueshost during the BerlinInternational Film Festival.When she moved back fromLondon to Los Angeles aboutthree years ago, Mayer decidedto keep the tradition going duringAFM.“I look forward to itevery year. Where elsedo you have a hostesswho just left the showerthe moment youarrive and walksaround in flip flops?”— Maarten Melchior,Fintage HouseEntertainment Assets“People really liked gettingout of the market,” she said.“It’s a way to meet people in amore relaxed setting.”Mayer’s guest list at her firstAFM party of 2007 on Thursdaynight was as diverse as the menu:trout (complete with head), wildrice with cranberries, steamedveggies, asparagus, her homemadepesto sauce and a fairamount of wine.The global mix of 30 guests— including Arenas Entertainment’sSantiago Pozo; InternationalFilm Guarantors’ SteveMangel, ; Italian attorney MossimoSterpi (whose clients includeGucci) , and Hong Kong attorneyMichael Leow — moved thefood around as deftly andsmoothly as they seeminglymove the money that oils theindie film biz. Taking it all in wasMayer’s ice-breaking-helpfuldog Cheyenne.“I look forward to it everyyear,” said Maarten Melchior ofFintage House EntertainmentAssets. “Where else do you have“People really liked gettingout of the market. It’sa way to meet people in amore relaxed setting.”— Patty Mayera hostess who just left the showerthe moment you arrive andwalks around in flip flops?”Melchior, whose companyworks in exploiting the copyrightand image rights of clients, said the setting allows for anatmosphere that’s different fromlarge AFM parties, where guestsoften just introduce themselvesand move on.“We do talk business here, butit’s more about relationshipbuilding,”Melchior said.Said another guest, “This isn’tso much a business opportunityas it is a chance to see colleaguesfrom all over the world. I’ve neverclosed a big deal here, but I’vemet very important people I dobusiness with in a casual environment.”As Mayer prepared dinner,many of the guests were drawn toa piece of unique artwork NewZealander Graham Burt broughtalong and proudly displayed.It was a custom-bound book,inside an aged oak box, that toldthe illustrated story of“Alveridgea and the Legend ofthe Lonely Dog” by NewZealand artist Ivan Clarke. Only95 prints were made of the artwork,valued, Burt said, at$50,000 each. Burt, a client ofMayer’s, was in town withinvesting partner James Covertto hash out a deal to develop theartwork into a film. (All kinds ofdeals get done during the AFM!)Other guests, like producerFrancesca Barra, lingered near“This isn’t so much a business opportunity as it is achance to see colleagues from all over the world. I’venever closed a big deal here, but I’ve met very importantpeople I do business with in a casual environment.”— party guestthe fireplace talking shop withMelchior and others about thelatest Spike Lee project, while aduo of London lawyers sat in thedining room discussing variationsof American accents.“It’s a nice break from AFM,”Leow said as the party wounddown. “It’s nice to come to someone’shome and have a homecookedmeal. It’s refreshing.”For Mayer, it was just one ofthree parties she throws. SoireeNo. 2 is tonight, while the thirdis scheduled for Tuesday.Why three? “People come andgo at different parts of the market,”she said. “The people whocame Thursday are not going tobe here Tuesday. And the peoplewho are coming next Tuesday,haven’t arrived yet. It’s alsobecause I don’t get to see all myfriends if I don’t.“So, once you kind of vacuumthe cat hair off the furniture, youmight as well give all the parties,instead of just one.” •‘Big River’Continued from page 1—umentary,” said Samantha Horley,managing director of worldwiderights-handler Lumina, which putup finishing money for the film.“It’s more eccentric than ‘GrizzlyMan’ and more human than ‘AnInconvenient Truth.’ ”Said producer Molly Hassell ofStrel, “He drank wine all the way.”Hassell’s Los Angeles-basedcompany Mollywood boughtthe remake rights this year toHong Kong director JohnnieTo’s “Exiled” with producerSamuel Hadida.Maringouin’s 2006 docu“Running Stumbled” chronicleda family feud with his shut-inparents in New Orleans. •more onlineFor more newsgo tohollywoodreporter.com‘Joy’Continued from page 6—David Jourdan from Katapultand Laurence Gornall from theWorks.The docu follows hot on theheels of Anton Corbijn’s “Control,”a fictionalized account ofthe band’s rise, which culminatedin the suicide of lead singerIan Curtis.Gornall said the Works is planningto release “Joy Division”theatrically in 2008.Gee’s documentary has soldto the Weinstein Co. for NorthAmerica, Madman for Australia,Pretty Pictures for France andBenelux and CCV for Scandinavia.•‘Damned’Continued from page 1—The movie reunites the producingteam behind “The Queen,”with Morgan and Harries back on aproject along with producer ChristineLangan, who is now at BBCFilms, and actor Michael Sheen.Stephen Frears, who helmed“Queen,” will not be directingthis project. Instead, Harries andcompany have hired Emmy winnerTom Hooper (“Longford”)to sit in the director’s chair.“Damned” centers on controversialbut successful soccermanager Brian Clough in 1970sEngland. Morgan adapted fromDavid Peace’s novel.Production is scheduled tostart in the spring on the $10million-budgeted picture.“Brian Clough was an iconicfigure and, as with Ealing, is alegend in contemporary popularBritish culture,” Harries said.“This story has a message for usall.”Ealing Studios Internationalwill sell the rights in all territoriesapart from the U.K., where theBBC is handling theatrical distributionsales while maintainingtelevision rights to the project.“We are delighted to be workingwith Andy Harries’ Left BankPictures, Peter Morgan and sucha talented team,” Ealing Studioschief James Spring said. •hollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)46


day4_47_revs3 b 11/2/07 4:36 PM Page 47Day 4 Saturday, November 3, 2007reviews‘Strange Culture’You don’t have to be paranoidfor “Strange Culture” toscare the hell out of you. The filmcenters on the ongoing legal caseof the U.S. governmentv. Steve Kurtz, quitepossibly the grossestjudicial overreaching inthe post-Sept. 11world. If this isn’t thegrossest instance, thenheaven protect anyonewho wants to think andspeak freely in thiscountry.Despite coverage inmajor newspapers andTV shows, the Kurtzcase still has not receivedthe media spotlight itdeserves. Perhaps LynnHershman-Leeson’s electrifyingand alarming filmwill change this. Like lastyear’s Sundance entry“An Inconvenient Truth,”the film needs a distributor thatunderstands the solid business andpolitical reasons for releasingthe film.Even before the tragedy ofMay 11, 2004, Kurtz’s own workoperated below the radar. Along-haired associate professor ofart at SUNY Buffalo and foundingmember of the theater troupeCritical Art Ensemble, Kurtz wasthen working on an exhibitionfor the Massachusetts Museum ofContemporary Art thatconfronted the hot-buttontopic of geneticallymodified food. When hiswife, Hope, died earlythat morning in hersleep of heart failure,Kurtz called 911.The paramedics grewsuspicious of the professor’sart supplies, whichoften consisted of petridishes containing bacteriaordered over theInternet. The FBI wascalled in, and soon agentsin hazmat suits wererifling through his house.They impounded books,computers and even hiswife’s body. He immediatelywas branded a“bioterrorist” and arrested.Two and a half years later, thecase still is pending in federalcourt. Because his lawyer advisedhim not to talk about certainaspects of the case, Hershman-Leeson has chosen to explore thesituation in an experimentalapproach. Actors — notablyreviewBYKIRKHONEYCUTTOriginallyreviewed inJanuary at theSundanceFilm Festivalthe bottom lineA Kafka-esqueaccount of anAmerican artistcaught up inBush’s war onterror.‘Spine Tingler!’reviewThe man who brought theworld such immortal moviehouse gimmicks as Emergo,Percepto, Illusion-O and GhostViewer glasses is finally givenhis due in “Spine Tingler! TheWilliam Castle Story.”A fittingly lively portrait of theB-movie artist who put the showback into showmanship, JeffreySchwarz’s documentary portraysthe late director-producer as aman with the heart of a carnywho dreamed of one day sheddinghis reputation as a low-rentHitchcock and winning theartistic respect of his peers.While the 80-minute film is anatural for festivals — it screenedat the AFI Fest — Castle’s affectionatefanbase alsocould warrant a theatricalrelease, especially if somebodycould figure out a cost-effectiveway of rigging theater seats tovibrate at pivotal moments.Director Schwarz, whosecompany, Automat Pictures,specializes in producing makingofdocus for TV and DVD, takesa standard-issue approach here,gathering Castle family, friends,colleagues and historians —daughter Terry, John Waters,John Landis, Joe Dante and thelate Marcel Marceau, amongthem — to provide the obligatorytestimonials and anecdotes.But when you’ve got a guy asThomas Jay Ryan as Steve andTilda Swinton as Hope — dramatizecertain scenes. News footage,comic book drawings and talkingheadinterviews with colleaguesand fellow artists fill in other gaps.What emerges is a conspiracy,all right — a conspiracy in theJustice Department with twoclear agendas. In an effort tomanufacture a crime where thereis no obvious one, prosecutorshave charged Kurtz and his longtimecollaborator, Robert Ferrell,with federal mail and wirefraud. By using civil law to bringcriminal charges, the JusticeDepartment is attempting toexpand its powers over U.S. citizens.The other agenda is tosilence the scientific and artisticcolorful as Castle, you don’tneed a lot of fancy frills toattract attention, especiallywhen you’ve got a generousclip assortment from suchimmortal movies as “Macabre”— which offered patrons insuranceby Lloyds of London inthe event of “death by fright”— “13 Ghosts,” “Mr. Sardonicus”and intended “Psycho”rival, “Homicidal.”Although most were accompaniedby publicity stuntsdesigned to lure audiences ofthe late 1950s and ’60s awayfrom their TVs and back intotheaters, Castle craved somethingbeyond profitability andeventually would land hisbiggest gimmick in the form ofJoan Crawford, who starredin his 1964 thriller “Strait-The debate overgenetically modifiedfoods is center stage.community in the debate overgenetically modified foods. Thegovernment and agribusinesshave a huge investment in GMF,so they do not appreciate peoplelike Kurtz raising questionsabout Frankenfoods.The most telling staged scenehas one of Kurtz’s colleagues(Josh Kornbluth) present a petitionon his behalf to his students.This provokes a heart-wrenchingdebate by the young people aboutthe wisdom of signing such a document.How might linking theirnames with Kurtz’s restrict futurejob opportunities and their freedomof movement in and out of acountry where a president assertsthe right to label anyone hechooses as a terrorist? •Jacket,” penned by “Psycho”author Robert Bloch.While Crawford essentiallyran the whole show — insistingthe set be kept at freezing temperaturesto “tighten the skin”— the experience made Castlemore determined than ever tobeat Hitch at his own game.Bittersweet success wouldcome with “Rosemary’s Baby,”a vehicle he had wanted todirect himself, but he’d have tosettle for a producer’s creditafter Paramount brought in ahot young Polish filmmaker bythe name of Roman Polanski.Castle was never able tobuild on that newfound artisticcredibility, but his death in1977 marked the end of a trulyspirited era.Michael Rechtshaffenhollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)47


day4_p1,46,48 e 11/2/07 8:54 PM Page 48Day 4 Saturday, November 3, 2007newsStrikeContinued from page 1—an eleventh hour deal to avoidindustrial action would be made.While the studios across townprep for picket lines, sellers hereare busy weighing the implicationand potential impact on theindie film world.Most agree that the length ofthe action will determine justhow much impact it will have.The longer it goes on, thegreater strain it will put on theavailability of decent scripts forsellers looking to do presales.Handmade Films Internationaldirector Michael Ryan said,“As a company with several highprofileprojects in the pipeline,we are as concerned as anyonethat if this strike continues intothe New Year the impact on ourability to presell will be significant.Specifically, we have onefeature where the director willbegin to write in February, but ifa solution is not found, the projectcould be in serious trouble.”But every strike cloud has a silverlining.Director Damian Lee (“SkiSchool”), whose “The Poet” isbeing sold here by AmericanWorld Pictures, thinks theremight be opportunities “for thenext tier of talent.”Said Lee, “There’s an organicconsumption in our industry asnever before. Nature abhors avacuum, and distributors willturn to other sources if needed.It’s dangerous for the WGA nowbecause of the proliferation ofalternative delivery systems likelive TV and content systems suchas the Internet.”Lee warns that the guild isoperating “under the old paradigmmodel.”If the strike goes on for toolong, and surplus is consumed, itwill offer nonguild signatorisincluding minor productioncompanies and up-and-comingproducers new opportunities,Lee thought.IM Global CEO Stuart Ford,whose company reps severalhigh-profile projects here, is notsure the scribbler’s strike “hasparticularly affected the market.”Ford’s concerns lie with the talkof an impending actors strike thathas seen the studios rush to greenlightmovies and put the squeezeon the availability of top-line talentfor indie projects. And it alsodrives the offer prices, which leadto higher presale prices.One U.S. buyer said the writersstrike might be a good thing forpatient sellers if it lasts for a longtime. “If they’re smart they’llhold off on selling the pics untilMarch next year and then they’llbe able to command higher pricesthan now because people willneed projects even more then.”Also weighing up the potentialfallout from the strike on foreignshores will be the world’s bigbroadcast groups, particularly inthe major English-speaking territoriesCanada, the U.K. and Australia,all of which are heavilydependent on top U.S. primetimeprogramming.But Andrea Keir, AustralianNetwork Nine’s Los Angelesbasedpresident of programmingand acquisitions, noted thatbroadcasters have had fair warningof the likelihood of a strikeand have alternative plans inmost cases.“We do have quite a lot ofAmerican programming, buteven without the threat of astrike we were moving towardproducing more local productions,both reality and scripted,”she said.Other Australian networks,such as Seven, also air a largeamount of U.S. shows and willlook to go back to local shows ifthe strike is elongated.One of Seven’s big offerings thisyear is NBC Universal’s “BionicWoman,” which it airs virtuallyday-and-date with the U.S.With as many as 13 weeks ofnew primetime programming inthe can, there is the likelihoodthat a prolonged strike couldforce international programmersto work with reruns or to relayon a slates of home-producedprogramming.Canadian broadcasters, whichdepend on U.S. network series todrive their primetime ratings and adrevenue, will be directly affected.Canadians air day-and-datewith the U.S. networks. Theconsensus is Canadian primetimeschedules will reflect the sameglut of reruns and reality TVseries that are expected to showup on U.S. channels once themajor networks burn throughstockpiled episodes of popularshows, beginning in early 2008.Canadian broadcasters saythey’ve remained in close contactwith studio suppliers in LosAngeles.Guy Mayson, president andCEO of the Canadian Film andTelevision Production Assn.,representing indie producers,said a prolonged strike may holdout opportunities for majordomestic networks such as GlobalTelevision and CTV to runmore homegrown shows.But Mayson said Canadianproducers would prefer laborpeace in Los Angeles to preventinevitable disruption to CanadianTV to the north.“We’re not interfering orplaying into anything. Ideally,we’d like to see labor harmony,”he argued.Gregg Goldstein, Steve Brennanand Etan Vlessing in Torontocontributed to this report.FinanceContinued from page 42—opening on 800 screens or morehave failed to crack the weekendtop 10 listings.But overall, the panelists werebullish because of untapped theatricalmarkets abroad and thepromise of the still-developingbroadband revolution.“We are going to see an acceleratedspending pattern on avery large scale,” Salter said ofconsumers’ entertainmenthabits. Hayward agreed thatwhile films will face ever greatercompetition, broadband “willexpand the market as long as weget on top of peer-to-peer.”“What you don’t want to happenis for movies to become bitesizeentertainment,” Molner saidof the challenge the Internetposes.At the follow-up panel onEmerging Trends in Film Financing,moderated by KPMG’s BensonBerro, panelists plunged intosome of the nitty-gritty considerationsthat indie producers facewhen making financing and productiondecisions.Nu Image CFO Trevor Shortcounseled that while new stateincentives and rebates may lookattractive, a new, untried stateprogram can lead to problems.Rather than move his company’sproductions from state to stateand country to country, NuImage has established bases inLouisiana and Bulgaria where itis familiar with the local regulationsand infrastructure.Fred Milstein, president ofcompletion guarantor CineFinance,said that 70% of the projectshis firm sees use some formof tax incentive. But because ofall the complexities involved,where a bond company used tospend most of its time looking ata project’s budget and physicalplans, now, he added, “we reallyspend more time … workingwith the producers sorting outthe financing.”Despite complaints from somethat the presale market is dryingup, Peace Arch Films presidentJohn Flock said that market hasn’tdisappeared, explaining,“There are places where youcan’t presell movies, but it movesaround. The market is not dead.”“The banks have gotten moremicro in figuring out how to slicethe valuation of a picture at differenttimes in the picture’s lifecycle,” JPMorgan Securities’Christa Thomas said of the addedscrutiny proposals now receive.But while the poor performanceof some films have giveninvestors pause, Christa said shehas yet to see any impact fromthe subprime credit crunch onfilm financing.Axium International’s JeffBegun warned that closing complicatedfinancing and tax agreementscan be a lengthy processand that they don’t always closewhen expected, which can forceproducers to postpone startdates at the last minute. “Pleasedon’t start you movie until youhave the financing closed,” hesaid to the assembled indie producersby way of practicaladvice.•hollywoodreporter.com los angeles 323/525-2000 | new york 646/654-5000 | london 44/207-420-6139 | beijing 86/10-6512-5511 (ext. 121)48


DubaiFINAL 11/2/07 5:44 PM Page 1DUBAIFILM FESTIVALDUBAI BUMPER ISSUE DECEMBER 7, 2007THE DIFF DAILIES DECEMBER 9-16, 2007In addition to the December 7 issue dedicated to the festival, the Hollywood Reporter is proudto announce an exclusive partnership with the award winning Gulf News and the DubaiInternational Film Festival in the creation of the only official festival daily.The Gulf News is the undisputed English language daily new paper in the region with a circulationof 91,985 from Saturday to Thursday and 94,247 on Friday* and provides in-depthnews coverage from business and culture to entertainment.Dubai Bumper IssueSpace & Materials Deadline: November 30DIFF Dailies: December 6LA: Andrew Goldstein 323.525.2012agoldstein@hollyoodreporter.comNY: Kelly Calabrese 646.654.5624kcalabrese@hollywoodreporter.comLondon: Alison Smith +44-207-420-6143alisonsmith@eu.hollywoodreporter.comHong Kong: Ivy Lam +852 3151 2703ivy.lam@nielsen.com


Branscome SPOOK D4_11_03_07.indd1 111/2/07 11:56:27 AM

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