Friday, June 16, 2006

Flagey film fest showcases new talent

This year's Flagey Film Festival in Brussels will feature some of the hottest releases from across Europe, including award-winners from the Berlinale and Cannes. If you've been watching the festival news over the past few months, you'll have heard all about "12.08 East of Bucharest", "The Bothersome Man", "Grbavica", "Stetsi/Something Like Happiness" and "Komma". Over ten days, the festival will feature 30 films in all, including premieres of a number of high-profile Belgian films.

Other highlights include a major pitching competition, open-air screenings and an award for Belgian TV scriptwriting.

June 30-July 8, Brussels. Visit the Flagey Film Festival site for more details.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Guillermo Del Toro to appear at UK Screenwriter festival

Cult writer/director Guillermo Del Toro is one of Mexico's most popular writer / directors, with world wide success for such films as 'Cronos', 'Mimic', 'Blade II', 'The Devil's Backbone' and 'Hellboy'. He appearing at the upcoming Screenwriters' festival in Cheltenham, UK, where he will discuss and show some of his work, having recently completed his horror fantasy, 'Pans Labyrinth'. This is a rare opportunity to hear from a master storyteller. He will be at the Festival on Wednesday 28th June to discuss his work in detail with film writer Nigel Floyd. Other noted writers at the event will include Julian Fellowes, Julian Friedman, Jimmy McGovern, Nicholas Roeg and Tony Marchant. For details, visit the Screenwriters Festival.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Top 10 European films by attendance

Released at the same time as the Cannes festival, the figures from the European Observatory concerning film attendance in Europe always make for good reading. Inevitably, they never reflect the opinions of either reviewers nor festival awards. It would be very surprising if they did, in fact, as one of the roles of festivals is to highlight films that the audience would not otherwise find.

N° of films produced in 2005:
Europe 798
US 699

Average cost of a feature:
France $6.2 million
UK $13.3 million
US: $60 million for majors, $23.5 for indies

Spectators in 2005
Europe 892 million
US: 1403 million

The Top 10 European films by attendance in 2005:
Pride & Prejudice
Brice de Nice (a surprising result as it was only released in French-speaking Europe)
The March of the Emperor
Der Untergang/Downfall
Oliver Twist
Torrente 3 (only seen in Spain as far as I know)
Nanny McPhee
Les Poupées Russes/Russian Dolls
Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

Film attendance gives only a limited view of a film's career, as DVD and TV sales are so important. This is even more true in Europe, where a significant number of films only get a very limited release outside their country of origin.