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PIFF adds actors to Network - The Hollywood Reporter

3daythedailyin PusanSaturday, October 6, 2007 hollywoodreporter.com/pusanPIFF adds actors to NetworkBy Mark RussellAfter 12 years of bringingtogether directors, producersand other filmmakers from allover Asia and the world, thePusan International FilmFestival grew significantly Fridaywhen it added the faces of cinemawith the launch of the AsiaPacific Actors Network.“From the first Pusan FilmFestival I thought it would benice to bring together Asianactors and build a strong network,”said Kang Soo-yeon, arepresentative of APAN andone of Korea’s most distinguishedactors. “At last thatplan is reality.”Attending the APAN openingwas a diverse array of actingrelatedprofessionals from Asiaand North America, includingactors Daniel Dae Kim (“Lost”),Grace Park (“Battlestar Galactica”)and Wong Fann (“ShanghaiKnights”) as well asEndeavor agent Daisy Wu,Korean agent Jeong Young-ParkKimbeom and casting agents AnnieMcCarthy and Poping Auyeung.For the APAN launch, organizersheld a conference aboutLiew’s young castprovides winningperformances.the international casting ofAsian actors, a formal gala andred-carpet party, and an awardsceremony for the first AsianFilm Advancement Fund,which provides about $280,000in preproduction help for upand-comingAsian filmmakers.Malaysia’s Ho Yu Hangreceived this year’s inauguralprize.“The fund is a small step, butslow and steady wins the race,”Kang said.In addition, the Korean talentmanagement agency NamooActors signed a deal with China’sChengtian to create a specialKorea-China actors network.But more than ceremoniesand awards, many attendeesSee ACTORS on page 6‘Flower in the Pocket’Liew Seng Tat’s “Flower in the Pocket”shares some characteristics with thework of the woman who produced it,Malaysian independent filmmaker TanChui Mu (“Love Conquers All,” “A Treein Tanjung Maling”), like authenticsoundingdialogue and emotional understatement.But it also is brimming withLiew’s unique brand of mischievoushumor and the same twisted imaginationevident in his shorts and animations.In “Flower in the Pocket,” the carefreelives of young brothers Li Ohm andLi Ahn are shot with the perspective ofan adult who still remembers vividlywhat it was like to be a child. Their single-dad,Sui, is an introverted maker ofmannequins who’d rather get tangled upin compromising positions with theirlifeless limbs than be set up on dates. Heis mildly troubled by an inexplicablemalady of water periodically drippingfrom one nipple — as if he were a moth-See “FLOWER” on page 8reviewBYMAGGIE LEEthe bottom lineA playful andgently movingdepiction of theblossoming of afather-sonrelationship.Korea-U.S.co-prod looksinto the ‘Box’By Mark RussellThe Korean-American project“The Hanji Box” is set tobecome the first co-productionfunded by the Seoul FilmCommission’s Film ProductionSupport Program, the project’sproducers and the Commissiontold The Hollywood Reporteron Friday.Producers Jane Applegateand Amy Lo said that Koreanstars Kim Yun-jin (“Lost”) andBaek Yoon-shik (“Tazza: Godof Gamblers”) are set to joinAmy Irving in what they calleda “reverse adoption” story.Written and directed by NoraJacobson, “Hanji Box” is thestory of a heartbroken painterSee “HANJI” on page 2


Chung Sung-Jun/GETTY IMAGESDay 3digestSaturday, October 6, 2007“Hero” director Masaguki Suzuki, left, and star Takuya Kimuragreet reporters at a press conference for the film Friday.Celestial ‘Flying’ into mobileHONG KONG — Celestial Pictures on Friday said it will promoteShaw Brothers classics such as “The Flying Guillotine”in high definitionformat at MIP-COM 2007 anddebut its Mobile& Internet TVAwards nominee“The King Boxer”mobisodes at themarket. Other HDtitles include “The Eight Diagram Pole Fighter,” “The FiveDeadly Venoms,” and “The 36th Chamber of Shaolin.”Celestial will also promote ‘bite-size’ segments of kung fufilm clips from the Shaw Brothers library such as “TwelveGold Medallions” re-edited into short 2-to 3-minute episodesand enhanced by animation and music remixes. On Oct. 10in Cannes, “King Boxer” will stand for the award for “BestShort Film, originally created or repurposed for mobile” at theMIPCOM Mobile and Internet TV Awards.Asia awards unveil first nomsSYDNEY — Thirty-four films from 19 countries have beennominated in the inaugural Asia Pacific Screen Awards, theawards’ nominations council announced in Singapore. Filmswith established festival and awards pedigrees from Lebanon,Iran, Turkey and Korea led the nominations with three nomsapiece. The best feature film nominations include NadineLabaki’s “Caramel” (Lebanon); Iranian war film “Night Bus”;Korean romantic comedy “Secret Sunshine”; Turkey’s “Takva:A Man’s Fear of God” and Indonesian musical “Opera Jawa.”Hong Kong orgs put out callHONG KONG — Film submissions for the sixth Hong Kong-Asia Film Financing Forum, organized by the Hong KongInternational Film Festival and the Hong Kong TradeDevelopment Council and the MPA, are now being accepted.The call for HAF submissions comes hot on the heels of theHong Kong Film Development Council’s announcement thatthey are inviting applications for the HK$300 million ($38.4million) Film Development Fund. HAF is one of the coreevents of Hong Kong’s Entertainment Expo and is designedto connect Asian filmmakers with film financiers, producers,bankers, distributors, buyers and funders.By Pip Bulbeckand Jonathan LandrethThe Australian film “Son of aLion,” a world premiere todayat the Pusan International FilmFestival, is likely the first featureshot undercover in Pakistan’stribal Northwest FrontierProvince, and stands as hard evidenceof an increasingly internationaloutlook Down Under.In the last decade, the bulk ofsuccessful Australian films havehad a reputation as quirkycomedies, presenting a distinctlyoffbeat Australian humor toglobal audiences.But in recent years, with anupturn in production, and abrightening of the fundinggreenlight from the Film FinanceCorp., diversity has become anAustralian film hallmark.“Empathy is the No. 1 qualitymost important quality today,even over brains,” said debutdirector Benjamin Gilmour, aparamedic by training, who shot“Son” over eight months in2006 with Australian FilmCommission help for just underAUS$500,000 ($432,000).Only after a few months ofgaining the locals’ trust — withthe help of executive producerHayat Khan Shinawari — did‘Hanji’Continued from page 1—(Irving) who journeys to Koreain an attempt to reconnect withher estranged Korean-adopteedaughter. While in Korea, shehires an interpreter (Kim) andfalls in love with a local artist(Baek).In addition, the film featuredproduction design by one ofKorea’s most in-demand talents,Cho Keun-hyun (“A Taleof Two Sisters”).Earlier this year, the SeoulFilm Commission announcedthe Film Production SupportProgram, which offers grants ofup to 25% of the productionbudget (to a maximum of$100,000) on foreign filmsshot in Seoul.newsFavorite ‘Son’: Oz featurehighlights new int’l imageTerritory sends 6 features to PusanGilmour reveal his SonyMiniDV Cam. Gilmour grew afull beard and wore tribal dressas he shot the story of aPashtun son coming to gripswith his father’s arms manufacturingbusiness.Gilmour first traveled toPakistan before 9/11, and saidhe was motivated to make“Son” when he saw Pashtunsdemonized.“What I saw happening didnot match my experience.Pashtun carry arms but they area peace loving people,”Gilmour said. “Son” was producedby Carolyn Johnson.Australian diversity in filmalso includes an increasing numberof independent features thatlook up from Down Under toshow Australia through the eyesof foreigners who, one way oranother, make their mark there.The six features that willscreen in the coming days atPusan include Kriv Stenders’real-time urban drama,“Boxing Day,” about a formerprisoner having his familyaround for a visit that goes dangerouslywrong; PeterCarstairs’ “September,” a lookat the breakdown of a relationshipbetween an aboriginalSee AUSTRALIA on page 6Final budget for the projecthas not been finalized, but Losaid it was less than $5 million.Producers are attending thePusan International FilmFestival in their hunt for a localpartner, and they said that severalKorean companies wereinterested, though they had nodeal to announce yet.The five-week shoot is set tobegin in April, and Jacobsonsaid that “over 80%” of the filmwould be shot in Korea andthat she intended to use an all-Korean crew — though withone major exception.“They actually encouragedme to use an American DP,”Jacobson said. Not because ofquality but because “theyseemed really interested in howan American sees Korea.” •[ 2 ]www.hollywoodreporter.com los angeles [323] 525-2000 • new york [646]


Day 3Saturday, October 6, 2007Media Asia’sChong haspublic planBy Jonathan LandrethJohn Chong, CEO ofMedia Asia Group, a coproducerof Pusan InternationalFilm Festivalopener “Assembly,” saysthe Hong Kong companyand its sister recordingand talent managementfirms are consolidatinginto a media and entertainmentgroup he expectsto go public inHong Kong or New Yorkin two or three years.Owned by Hong KonglistedE Sun and con-See CHONG on page 6By Gregg KildayVowing to judge each film onits own values, Darius Mehrjui,who heads the New Currentsjury at this year’s PusanInternational Film Festival,promised to “disregard thepolitical or secondary issues likethe age of the director orwhether he has won prizes.”Iranian director Mehrjui andhis four fellow jurors wereintroduced Friday morning byfestival director Kim Dong-hoat a press conference beforebeginning their task of judging11 new films by emerging Asianfilmmakers in the New Currentssection.“It is a great honor to havenewsJury will focus on the work‘Secondary issues’ won’t play role in vote, Mehrjui saysJuror Lee Chang-dong addresses the press Friday.such an internationallyacclaimedteam for thejury,” Kimsaid of thegroup thatincludes ChineseactressYu Nan, KoreandirectorLee Changdong,Serbiandirector Goran Paskaljevic andRomanian director CristianMungiu.See JURY on page 6Chung Sung-Jun/GETTY IMAGESPusan EditionOFFICE:pusan@hollywoodreporter.com010-8659-8288JOHN KILCULLENPublisherERIC MIKASenior VP, Publishing DirectorDAVID MORGANDeputy EditorGREGG KILDAYFilm EditorJONATHAN LANDRETHAsia EditorCHAD WILLIAMSInternational News EditorKAREN NICOLETTIOnline News EditorMARK RUSSELLKorean CorrespondentMAGGIE LEE, ELIZABETH KERRFilm ReviewersIVY LAMAsia Sales & Marketing ManagerCLAIRE SANGHI HAMSpecial Project Manager, South KoreaCopyright ©2007 Nielsen Business Media, Inc. All rightsreserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced,stored in any retrieval system or transmitted, in any form orby any means — electronic, mechanical, photocopying,recording or otherwise — without the prior written permissionof the publisher.[ Pusan daily design by Deeann J. Hoff ]A plume of colored smoke rises Friday above the Busan Post Production Facility groundbreaking ceremony.Busan explodes into postprod’n gameBy Gregg KildayBusan mayor Hur Nam-sik,surrounded by a phalanx ofdignitaries, pressed a buttonFriday afternoon that set off aburst of fireworks and coloredsmoke effects to mark thegroundbreaking of the BusanPost Production Facility.The 32.2 billion won ($35.1million) facility is being built inthe Centum City section ofHaeundae, the first stage of constructionis to be completed in2008, and the entire project tobe finished by 2011. Boastingfour above-ground floors andone underground level, thebuilding is designed to provideBusan with one-stop shoppingfor all postproduction needs —including editing, CG andsound-recording and mixing.Calling the building “one ofthe most fundamental infrastructuresfor the developmentof our movie industry,” themayor said, “our city willbecome known as the nextHollywood in Asia.”Costs of the new building arebeing shared by the Korean government,which is putting up12.1 billion ($13.2 million) wonand Busan, which is putting upanother 12.1 billion. Theremaining 8 billion won is beingraised in the private sector.An average of 40 featurefilms are shot in Busan annually,according to the Busan FilmCommission, but they currentlyhave to travel elsewhere forpostproduction work. Oncecompleted, the post-househopes to attract filmmakersfrom throughout Asia.Veteran Korean director ImKwon-taek joined the assembledgovernment officials,including members of the citycouncil and representatives ofthe Ministry of Culture andTourism, in hailing the latestevidence of Busan’s growingprofile as a film center. •www.hollywoodreporter.com los angeles [323] 525-2000 • new york [646] 654-5000 • london [44] 207-420-6139 • beijing [86] 10-6512-5511-ext. 121[ 3 ]


Day 3Saturday, October 6, 2007newsJensen files ‘Astro’ flight planBy Saul SymondsHONG KONG — ForDanish-born animator JakobJensen, animating Japan’s classicmanga “Astro Boy” atHong Kong’s Imagi AnimationStudio seems like a difficultchallenge, despite his backgroundat DreamWorks.After all, Astro Boy is virtuallya national treasure of Japan,but far less well known in therest of the world. But Jensenhas confidence that he canmake “Astro Boy” fly.“I want to apply my Dream-Works experience and implementphilosophies I learned atthat company into the work flowand the pipeline of the studio inHong Kong to make Astro Boyas empathic in the U.S. as he isJakob Jensen is helping his HongKong colleagues with Astro Boy’scharacter performance aspects.in Japan,” said Jensen, the animationacting director for“Astro Boy” at Imagi.Now in production, “AstroBoy” is set for release in 2009.It is a computer graphics adaptationof Osamu Tezuka’sfamous manga about a boyrobot, first published in 1952.The film is Imagi’s third theatricalfeature, following“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”update “TMNT” and“Gatchaman,” also now in production.“TMNT” debuted atNo. 1 at the U.S. boxofficewhen it opened in March, with$25.45 million in ticket sales.But unlike Imagi’s “TMNT”and “Gatchaman,” both actionheavyfilms, “Astro Boy” has alargely emotional core, pushingthe performance, acting andmovement principles of the animatedmain character into thespotlight, Jensen said.Jensen’s career in film animationbegan after quitting schoolat age 17, working in Denmark,London and the U.S. for companiessuch as A-Film, AmblimationStudios and, eventually,DreamWorks.Jensen might be at the top ofhis game, but working at HongKong’s Imagi, a young animationstudio with potential, hasoffered him new perspective —and an education in a wholenew culture.“A large part of my experiencein animation stems frommy training in traditional animation.The schools here in HongKong are great for technicalknowledge and are very softwaredriven, but in the U.S. we focusmore extensively on characterperformance,” Jensen said.“My new colleagues in HongKong know their software in andout, and look to me to opentheir eyes towards performanceand emotional nuance. The crewhere is enormously talented, soit’s just a matter of unleashingtheir inner rough diamond.”Jensen, however, noted thatwhen it comes to choreographicfight sequences, the animatorsat Imagi are masterful, actingout such scenes amongthemselves and then storyboardingthem in great detail.Jensen was not familiar with“Astro Boy” before beingapproached by Imagi in June towork on the film, and wasGETTY IMAGES“The crew here is enormouslytalented, so it’sjust a matter ofunleashing their innerrough diamond.”— Jakob Jensen, Imagianimation acting directorimmediately attracted to thePinocchio-like story. He notesthat Imagi is being faithful toTezuka’s original story arc, atthe same time bringing out elementsneeded for those unfamiliarwith the story.“I was intrigued with thepossibility of the project. I’m inthe process of educating myselfabout the Astro Boy universe,and I love what I see. ‘AstroBoy’ utilizes very classical storyprinciples of the hero’s journeythat we see in all good storytellingaround the world,Jensen said. “Astro Boy has themoral underpinning and strongemotional resonance that a lotof animation today is lacking.”Helping perhaps to build thatfiber at Imagi is the way theoffice is arranged, Jensen said.“At DreamWorks, everyonehas their own office, a luxury,but also somewhat isolating.Here in Hong Kong, we all worktogether in cubicles, which is lessprivate but more conducive tosharing. Of course, there’s a languagebarrier, but the techniquesI use to overcome it, such asphysically acting out scenes,actually improve communicationsin surprising ways.” •Astro Boy has been a cultural icon in Japan since his introduction in 1951.www.hollywoodreporter.com los angeles [323] 525-2000 • new york [646] 654-5000 • london [44] 207-420-6139 • beijing [86] 10-6512-5511-ext. 121[ 4 ]


A NEW DIGITAL KOREAN LANGUAGE NEWSLETTERJ U L Y 2 0 0 7International Entertainment news delivered direct to the heart of one of Asia’smost exciting centers for film, entertainment and new media.GETTY ImagesJonathan LandrethTHR Asia Editorjslandreth@mac.comhollywoodreporter.comIvy LamAsia Sales & Marketing+852 3151 2703ivy.lam@nielsen.com


Day 3AustraliaContinued from page 2—youth and his childhood friend,who’s the son of his stationboss; and “Lucky Miles,” agentle comedy that follows theplight of Iraqi and Cambodianrefugees who are abandoned inremote western Australia.They are part of a raft of filmsthis year that have found criticalacclaim and favor with festivalaudiences worldwide, as well asat Australia’s own festivals.“Lucky Miles” for one, thisyear received the audienceawards as best film at theSydney Film Festival and a specialjury prize at the KarlovyVary Film Festival.Also screening in Pusan arePeter Duncan’s “UnfinishedSky,” a love story between anAustralian farmer and an illegalAfghan refugee, set in theAustralian bush, and ClaireMcCarthy’s “Cross Life,” sixinterlocking stories revealingthe desire and redemption oflife in the urban jungle ofJuryContinued from page 3—Lee, who joked that he hadcome to PIFF many times beforebut couldn’t always get ticketsfor all the movies he wanted tosee, said that he wouldn’t givethe Korean features in the lineupspecial preference. At its firstmeeting, he said, the jury collectivelyagreed, “we wouldn’tplace the focus on where the filmis from ... I am looking for filmsthat stimulate me and that willtruly move the viewers.”Having begun her career inChinese art films and also justcompleted a role in the upcomingHollywood summer tentpole“Speed Racer,” Yu testifiedto her own eclectic approach,saying, “I like them both — artfilms and commercial films. Ithink I will have my own pointof view to judge the films.”Although three of his filmshave played PIFF, Paskaljevic ismarking his first visit to the festand emphasized a movie’shumanity, rather than its styleor technique, as a deciding factorin his deliberations. “Mostimportant for me is that when Iwatch the film, I am in thefilm,” he said.Paskaljevic added “film is notSaturday, October 6, 2007Chung Sung-Jun/GETTY IMAGESSydney’s King Cross.“It is particularly pleasing toachieve this level of success atone of Asia’s leading film festivalsafter nine Australian films wereselected for Toronto,” AFC chiefexecutive Chris Fitchett said.In Pusan on Friday, theAustralian filmmakers presentwere feted by Australia’sambassador to South Korea,Peter Rowe, at a function cohostedby the AFC.A diverse slate has long beenchampioned by Brian Rosen,the CEO of the FFC. The FFClast month green-lighted fourfeatures that will go to productionin 2008 which have storiesabout Australians andAustralians-to-be that takeplace in China, East Timor,Mexico and the U.S.“The wide reach is unusualgiven that none of the films areco-productions with othercountries,” Rosen said. “Eachstory is generated by Australianfilmmakers who, collectively,are showing a new interest inthe global picture.” •Jury member Yu Nana sport” and so it is not easy todeclare a winner. But Mungiu,whose “4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2Days” took Palme d’Or honorsat this year’s Festival de Cannes,said that awards can help a filmmakerreach a larger audience.Because of its Cannes win, “4Months” is now set for distributionin more than 60 countries,including Korea, he explained.Both Mehrjui and Mungiualso said the job will be a learningexperience for them as theylearn more about Asian film ingeneral and Korean moviesspecifically. “I’m here to learn,”Mungiu said, “because I’mreally very curious about thecinema being made in this partof the world.” •ChongContinued from page 3—trolled by real estate tycoonPeter Lam, Media Asia dabbledpreviously with public listing inSingapore, where there was littlemedia sector competition. Itdelisted in July after three yearsof thin trade as the firm soughtto grow its profile with biggerbudget films, Chong said.The delisting also came afterannual profits dropped about70% in 2006 to $HK6 million($773,000) from more thanHK$20 million ($2.5 million)in 2005, Chong said. MediaAsia remains the most profitableof E Sun’s holdings,which also include the Rich andFamous Talent MangementCo., the East Asia Record Co.and A Music, Chong said.“We are going to consolidateall of the entertainment companiesto perform together and seewhat we can do,” said Chong.“We need two or three years.”Why wait until after theBeijing Olympics which isdrwaing an influx of investmentdollars through Hong Kong?“Good projects are moreimportant than having money,”said Chong, who comes from acreative background in film.Chong said that BeijingbasedHuayi Bros. – now contemplatinglisting, too – competitorsfor good projects, butthat he views their longtimerelationship strategically.“They are good at the ChinaActorsContinued from page 1—said the real value was in meetingother actors from aroundthe region and building ties.“I think conferences like thisare a good idea,” Kim said. “Itis important not just to worktogether but to communicateand understand each other asour industry is becoming moreglobal.”Going global also can helpdiversity and deepen an actor’stalents, according to JasonScott Lee, who recentlywrapped shooting on the film“Dance of the Dragon” inSingapore. “Coming from theStates, you bring a certainmethodology,” Lee said.“Working in Asia, though, withtheir different styles, it is veryKAREN NICOLETTIMedia Asia’s John Chongnewsmarket and we are good at therest of the world,” Chong said.Media Asia has long workedwith Feng Xiaogang, China’smost bankable director.Media Asia will distributeFeng’s “Assembly” in HongKong and sold SoutheastAsiarights across the 2006American Film Market.Chong thinks that theChinese civil war battles in“Assembly’s” first half will captivateWestern audiencesenough that they will want tounderstand its more complexand emotional end about modernChinese political history.Media Asia has gained internationalattention throughremake rights both to “InfernalAffairs,” on which Oscar winner“Departed” was based, andnow to “Confessions of Pain,”China’s No. 1 local languagehit this year. •enriching.”“There are some very talentedpeople in this part of the world,and we want to work withthem,” said Andrew Ooi, presidentof the Vancouver-basedEchelon Talent Manage-ment.“With the world growing smaller,there are more opportunitiesfor Asian actors to go toHollywood. And for Hollywoodactors to go to Asia.”But finding actors in Asia forHollywood projects is often acomplicated process, the agentsand casting directors said.“Reaching out to agents inAsia is quite tough,” PopingAuyeong said. “It is hard tofind out who represents whom.It can take months to trackdown someone and get ananswer, but I just don’t have alot of time.” •www.hollywoodreporter.com los angeles [323] 525-2000 • new york [646] 654-5000 • london [44] 207-420-6139 • beijing [86] 10-6512-5511-ext. 121[ 6 ]


To submit your press packagesor press releases and for more news, visitus online hollywoodreporter.comTHEDAILIESPUSAN INTERNATIONAL FILM MARKETSeoul, South KoreaOct. 4-11AMERICAN FILM MARKETPIFF is one of the most significant filmfestivals in Asia and the first international filmfest in Korea. It’s known for introducing newfilms and first-time directors, especially thosefrom Third World countries.Santa Monica, Calif., USAOct. 31-Nov. 4Founded in 1981, the AFM is the pivotal destinationfor independent filmmakers and businesspeople from around the world, with 8,000attendees from over 70 countries, 900 screenings,and seminars programmed by leadingindustry organizations.DUBAI INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVALDubai, United Arab EmiratesDec. 9-16DIFF is an annual nonprofit film eventlaunched in 2004 to establish Dubai as a newregional film hub and to serve as an instrumentfor global understanding between theArab and non-Arab worlds.The HollywoodReporter isthe mostcomprehensiveand reliabledaily sourceof entertainmentbusiness newsand information.Our featurestoriesilluminateall aspectsof theindustry.BERLIN FILM FESTIVALFESTIVAL DE CANNESBerlin, 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. Upto 400 films are shown, the vast majority ofwhich are world or European premieres.Cannes, FranceMay 14-25The Festival de Cannes, founded in 1939,is one of the world's oldest, most influentialand prestigious film festivals. The privatefestival is held annually in the resort town ofCannes on the French Riviera.


Day 3SYDNEY — A milestonemoment in Australia’s racerelationshistory forms the backdropof “September,” a sensitivelycrafted coming-of-agestory about the friendshipbetween two teenage boys fromopposite sidesof the racialdivide. First-BYMEGANLEHMANNreviewthe bottom lineA gently toldcoming-of-age taleexposes racialtensions in 1960sAustralia.time featuredirector PeterCarstairs andco-writer AntHorn unspoolthe threads ofthe story slowlyand deliberately,usingpainterly compositionsandspare butstrangely eloquentdialogue tocreate a powerful lament for theloss of youthful innocence.There’s a tranquility in therhythms of the film — at oddswith the tumult of the characters’emotions — that rewardsthose who lose themselves in it.“September,” which screened inToronto, should see modestsuccess on the art house circuitwhen it is released in Australia.Ed (Xavier Samuel) andPaddy (Clarence John Ryan) are16-year-olds, growing up in1968 in the wheat belt of outbackWestern Australia. They’vebeen best mates for as long asthey can remember, but as theymature into men, the simplicityof their friendship is sullied bythe encroaching realities of aturbulent sociopolitical climate.Ed goes to school, but Paddy,Saturday, October 6, 2007A childhood friendshipis put to the testin 1968 Australia.‘September’an Aboriginal boy, helps hisfather, Michael (Kelton Pell), domaintenance work on the propertyowned by Ed’s taciturn dad,Rick (Kieran Darcy-Smith).September heralds spring anda multitude of changes: Ed startsshowing interest in the new girlat school, Amelia (Mia Wasikowska),and a famous travelingboxing troupe is coming totown, prompting Paddy and Edto erect a makeshift ring andbegin regular sparring sessions.Crucially, a new law is passedrequiring Aboriginal pastoralworkers to be paid the same astheir white counterparts. Thelegislation, meant to promoteequality, instead backfires, withSEPTEMBERHopscotch Films/Tropfest Feature Programreviewsmany Aborigines kicked off thefarms.Tension builds betweenMichael and Rick, who also haveknown each other since childhood,and the prejudices of theoutside world expose fault linesin the friendship of their sons.The film is not overtly political,allowing the focus toremain tight on the characterswith the centerpiece prop, aboxing ring in a wheat field,serving as an understated symbolof the fight against injustice.Working with a limitedbudget Carstairs and cinematographerJules O’Loughlinlet a simple story unfurl beneathvast skies and boundlesshorizons, giving it plenty ofspace to breathe.Credits: Director: Peter Carstairs; Screenwriters: Peter Carstairs, Ant Horn; Producer:John Polson; Executive producers: Mark Bamford, Tony Forrest and Gary Hamilton; Directorof photography: Jules O’Loughlin; Production designer: Sam Hobbs; Music: Roger Mason;Co-producers: Lynda House and Serena Paull; Costume designer: Cappi Ireland; Editor:Martin Connor. Cast: Paddy: Clarence John Ryan; Ed: Xavier Samuel; Rick: Kieran Darcy-Smith; Michael: Kelton Pell; Leena: Lisa Flanagan; Eve: Alice McConnell; Amelia: MiaWasikowska; Miss Gregory: Sibylla Budd.Running time 85 minutes.‘Flower’Continued from page 1—er with lactating problems.Father and sons never appearin the same frame until almosttwo-thirds into the film. Theylead separate lives, just as daynever meets night. The boys doeverything themselves — go toschool, take showers, cook dinnerand adopt a stray puppy.They obviously adore their dad,even leaving him a bowl of theirgourmet concoction of boiledrice, raw egg and ketchup.Their boyish antics are so amusingto watch that it doesn’tdawn on the audience how neglectedthey’ve been until a visitto their Malay friend Ayu’shome reminds one of whatthey’ve been missing. Ayu’smom is also a single parent, buther nurturing and indulgenceto Ayu is an important contrastto Sui’s indifference.Liew knows how to make thebest of indie director James Lee’spoker-face look in real life. Onscreen, it comes across as a hangdogexpression more helplessthan the homeless puppy, in contrastto the boys’ energy andresourcefulness. Liew has madeshorts with kids as leads before,and he is excellent at coaxing naturalresponses from a child cast.The film has been comparedwith Hirokazu Kore-eda’s“Nobody Knows,” but whereasthe Japanese director shows usan abdication of parental dutyso abominable it’s tantamountto murder, Liew is neitherpatronizing to the kids norjudgmental to the adults. Hesimply shows us just how easy itis to overlook children’s needs,especially when the adult is indenial about his own.His message that the fear ofgetting hurt will result in theinability to love is expressed inFLOWER IN THE POCKETDahuang Picturestwo wonderful scenes. The first isa “home alone” episode, inwhich Sui and the boys bondover shared injury. The second isa swimming lesson on dry landwhich, in addition to its slapstickcomic effect, symbolizes Sui’srealization that you need to takerisks in life. It is all the moretouching because his transformationis not represented as a giantstep, but a little front crawl.Credits: Director-screenwriter-editor: Liew Seng Tat; Producer: Yen San Michelle Lo;Executive producer: Tan Chui Mui; Director of photography: Albert Hue See Leong;Production designer: Gan Siong King. Cast: Ah Sui: James Lee; Ma Li Ohm: Wong ZiJiang; Ma Li Ahn: Lim Ming Wei; Ayu: Amira Nasuha Bintin Shahira; Ayu's mother: MislinaMustaffa; Mamat: Azman Bin Md HasanRunning time 97 minutes.www.hollywoodreporter.com los angeles [323] 525-2000 • new york [646] 654-5000 • london [44] 207-420-6139 • beijing [86] 10-6512-5511-ext. 121[ 8 ]


The Largest Total Distributionof Any Entertainment Daily50403020100TOTAL DISTRIBUTION (000’S)TUESDAY EDITION*(NOW INT’L WEEKEND EDITION)DAILY EDITION*** Source: ABC Publisherʼs Statement March 31 st , 2007 as compared to Variety Total Distribution**Source: ABC Publisherʼs Statement March 31 st , 2007 as compared to Daily Variety Total Distributionhollywoodreporter.com


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Day 3‘Blood Brothers’BYMAGGIELEEreviewthe bottom lineA love affair withart deco chairs andcheongsam chicset in 1930sShanghaigangland.lood Brothers,” a first“Bfeature by Alexi Tan,puts the glamour back into theChinese gangster film by takingit off the mean streets ofmodern-day Hong Kong, andtransporting it to 1930sShanghai, then known as theParis of the East.With a cast second-to-nonein the acting or looks department,andbacked by apedigreedcrew that includesTim Yip(“CrouchingTiger, HiddenDragon”) andAlfred Yau(“2046”) ascostume andproductiondesigners,respectively,the film isperched onthe brink ofgravitas, but becomes too infatuatedwith its own artifice to beanywhere near sublime.Having the names of JohnWoo and his longtime collaboratorTerence Chang attachedas producers certainly helps“Blood Brothers” reach out toWoo’s Asian/action fan base.The film already got a headstart in the festival circuit as theclosing film at Venice followedby a run at Toronto. However,the director’s re-hashedWestern cinema vocabulary andSaturday, October 6, 2007the ponderousnarrative withstagey dialogueare not so accessibleto the massaudience.Although toutedas a remakeof Woo’s “ABullet in theHead,” the film’stitle theme offraternity andbetrayal in thehood is a celebrationof nostalgicHollywoodgangster filmslike Leone’s “Once Upon aTime in America.”Fisherman Fung (DanielWu), local ruffian Kang (LiuYe) and his sidekick brotherHu (Tony Yang) leave theirhumble village to seek theirfortune in metropolitan Shanghai.They are recruited by theParadise Nightclub, owned byHong (Sun Honglei), a Mafiaboss making forays into showbiz.His mistress, sultrychanteuse Lulu (Shu Qi), performssome spectacular numbersthat give the film its ritziestmoments.The rest of the plot treadsfamiliar waters. AmbitiousKang takes on dodgy missions,while Fung becomes hisunwilling partner-in-crime in ashoot-out. Fung courts dangerby pursuing Lulu, then rescuingHong’s top hitman MarkAlexi Tan’s gangster filmowes less to John Woothan you might imagine.(ice-cool Chang Chen) afterthe latter’s botched attempt tokill Hong.When Hong orders Kang etal to take out star-crossed loversLulu and Mark, loyalties aretested and betrayed. The gateto paradise (the film’s Chinesetitle) becomes a sortie to hell inan operatic finale more pastichethan homage to John Woo.Irresistible as it is to scour“Blood Brothers” for Woo’simprints, Woo and Tan are asdifferent as Al Capone andreviewsJesse James. While Woo glorifiedmale bonding and machoheroics, Tan’s protagonists suffercrises of masculinity. Fungand Hu abhor violence whileMark is as world-weary asHamlet. Con-spicuously missingis Woo’s signature bulletballet. The most lethal weaponis a fountain pen.A static air pervades the film,with only a few unhurried trackingshots that underscore thedirector’s preference for slowburningmood and mannerism.BLOOD BROTHERSCMC Entertainment/Sil-Metropole Organization/Lion RockCredits: Director: Alexi Tan; Screenwriters: Alexi Tan, Jiang Dan, Tony Chan; Producers:John Woo, Terence Chang; Executive producers: Huang Chinwen, Song Dai; Director of photography:Michel Taburiaux; Production designer: Alfred Yau, Wai Ming; Music: DanielBelardinelli; Co-producers: David Tang, Yeh Jufeng, Cheri Yeung, Jamie Luk; Costumedesigner: Tim Yip; Editor: Cheng Long Cast: Fung: Daniel Wu; Lulu: Shu Qi; Mark: ChangChen; Kang: Liu Ye; Hu: Tony Yang; Boss Hong: Sun HongleiRunning time 124 minutes.‘Waiting for Love’Filmmaker James Lee premieresthe third part of aloose trilogy on love andrelationships in modernMalaysia, following“Before We Fall inLove Again” and“Things We Do WhenWe Fall in Love.” Forthose who found Lee’ssparse dialogue andminimalist action mesmerizing,“Waiting forLove” will be a treat.For everyone else, itwill be a chore.“Waiting for Love”will likely make the festival circuitrounds, particularly festsBYELIZABETHKERRthat screened the earlier films.In three segments unfoldingin what appears to bethe same apartment,couples wrangle overreviewthe bottom lineFor fans ofMalaysianminimalism only.relationships and try todetermine where to gonext. In the first, Limand Amelia (Lim KienLee and Amelia Chen)have been together for amoderate amount oftime. He wants to getmarried; she’s not surethey have a future. Theyargue over a mysteriousletter Amelia receivedfrom another man and what theletter — and her reluctance totoss it in the trash — mean.In the second section, Peteand Bernice (Pete Teo andBernice Chauly) have beentogether even longer. Sheworks; he stays at home, theresult of an unidentified illness.She’s clearly more engaged inthe relationship.Rounding out the film areAmy and Lai (Amy Len andLoh Bok Lai), a young couplemost likely at the beginning ofa relationship.As in Lee’s preceding films,“Waiting” is light on dialogueand music, leaving the actions,reactions and motivations of thecharacters open to interpretation.The final entry in the trilogyis less reliant on plot, and isa more thematic piece. Lee onceagain keeps his camera staticand cuts to a minimum, withactual words merely mumbled.With each pair at a turningpoint in their lives, the subtlestof looks or pauses potentiallycontain great meaning. Lee is amaster of distant observation.Once again, he proves his abilityto create reasonably vividcharacters with little or fewdetails to work with.WAITING FORLOVEA Doghouse73 Pictures, Da HuangPictures productionCredits: Screenwriter-director-producer:James Lee; Director of photography:Jimmy Ishmael; Production designer:Tan Hooi Ching; Editor: James Lee.Running time 73 minutes.www.hollywoodreporter.com los angeles [323] 525-2000 • new york [646] 654-5000 • london [44] 207-420-6139 • beijing [86] 10-6512-5511-ext. 121[ 11 ]


Day 3Saturday, October 6, 2007hollywoodreporter.comdigestAFI loves BeattyLOS ANGELES — WarrenBeatty will be honored bythe AmericanFilm Institutewith the AFI’sLifetimeAchievementAward, officialssaid Thursday.He will be fetedBeattyat a gala June 12 in LosAngeles. Previous recipientsof the award includeAl Pacino last year.Fund factsLONDON — NetherlandsbasedTV production outfitD&D Media has teamedwith British-based counterpartAmaze TV to form a“superindie” backed by£185 million ($377 million)in private-equity financing.The as-yet-unnamed jointventure aims to create aglobal media group to produceand distribute dramaand entertainment contentworldwide.Talks updateLOS ANGELES — Negotiatorsgot through Day 5of contract talks betweenHollywood writers andtheir studio employerswithout any sharp objectsbeing thrown, with theThursday session apparentlymuch more businesslikethan previous sessions.The groups willreconvene this morningin Encino.‘Fringe’ benefitsLOS ANGELES — Foxlanded the hotly contestedsci-fi spec “Fringe,” by J.J.Abrams, Alex Kurtzmanand Roberto Orci, with abig series commitment.Sources said it includes abudget for the two-hourpilot of about $10 million.VOD to the rescue for TVNew deals latestin war on piracyBy Steve BrennanLOS ANGELES — TheHollywood studios are killingtwo birds with one stone, andtheir weapon is VOD.To combat foreign piracy andto attract younger audiencesabroad who, like their Americancounterparts, want their showswhenever and wherever, they’reincreasingly focusing on suchnew-fangled deals. So far themoney is limited, but it has onlyone direction to go.Such deals with foreign broadcastpartners not only might createa new revenue stream butalso keep their traditional outputand volume deals with thosebroadcasters from taking a hit.The trend promises to be frontand center in Cannes at MIP-COM, which begins Monday.Gallic broadcaster TF1, forexample, has responded to theincreasing illegal Internet downloadsby signing a deal withNBC Universal to air episodesfrom Season 2 of “Heroes” onits VOD site just 24 hours afterthe original U.S. broadcast.One of the first to raise the redflag to fan-based piracy wasMarion Edwards, president ofinternational television at 20thCentury Fox, who revealed thatthis season’s premiere of “PrisonBreak” was on the Internet within11 minutes of its broadcast.Delay of game sidelines‘Leatherheads’ until AprilBy Carl DiOrioLOS ANGELES — Universalis extending the footballseason to April.George Clooney’s crush ofother commitments has resultedin the studio’s pushing the widerelease of his 1920s pigskin pic“Leatherheads” to April 4, officialssaid Thursday.Directed, co-written andtoplined by Clooney, the romanticcomedy involves the owner ofa professional team who falls forthe fiancee of one of his players.“Leatherheads” had been set forwide release Dec. 7.“Due to (Clooney’s) publicityschedule on Warner Bros.’‘Michael Clayton,’ his concurrentshootingschedule onF o c u sFeatures’‘Burn AfterReading’ andhis recentmotorcycleinjury, weClooney have movedthe release dateof ‘Leatherheads,’ ” a Unispokeswoman said. “This willallow Clooney the time heneeds to finish the film and forus to get maximum trailer playduring the holiday period.”“Leatherheads” becomes theseventh pic set for wide releasethat weekend, though one ormore surely will be moved. •NBC Universal’s “Heroes”is among the seriesgetting the VOD treatment.“If we do nothing and justthrow our hands up, our businesswill be gone,” she warned.She added: “VOD won’t killpiracy, but hopefully as we getmore into these rights, peoplewill feel less likely to steal whenthe same program is available onbroadcasters’ own sites.” •‘Hangover’gets a shotvia WarnersBy Borys KitLOS ANGELES —Warner Bros. has picked up“Hangover,”a comedyspec fromJon Lucasand ScottMoore, withTodd Phillips( “ O l dSchool”) onPhillipsboard todirect and produce. Thedeal follows Phillips’ justrenewedproduction dealwith the studio and hisbanner, Green Hat Films.Sources said the writers’deal is north of $2 million.The studio is eyeing“Hangover” as a prestrikemovie.www.hollywoodreporter.com los angeles [323] 525-2000 • new york [646] 654-5000 • london [44] 207-420-6139 • beijing [86] 10-6512-5511-ext. 121[ 12 ]

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