Wednesday, March 30, 2005

First Brit CGI animation feature scores well

"Valiant", Britains's first homebrew CGI feature, opened over the Easter weekend in the UK. Ranked fifth overall, the film took £1.1 million at the box office. Based on a story by George Webster, "Valiant" was written by George Melrod and Jordan Katz and directed by Gary Chapman.

Valiant tells the story of a homing pigeon during World War II. Visit the Valiant site for the trailer and info. Read Shadows on the Wall for a review.

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Perfect Pitch: this Monday in Soho (London)

In the run-up to Cannes, this event should be of interest to UK writers:

"SOHO SCREENWRITERS - Mon 28 March 2005 - The Perfect Pitch. Seminar and workshop with Jak Genie from the London Script Consultancy.

This week we will focus on pitching. It is crucial to be able to tell your story in a lively and dramatic way. This will not only help you to sell your script but enable you to practise and improve your idea quickly and effectively. Great preparation for Cannes!

The seminar will be followed by a workshop of writers' projects. Please bring your pitches, synopsis or treatments (up to 3 standard format pages) and short scripts (up to 10 standard format pages) for discussion and feedback at the group.

7.15pm - 9.30pm Monday 28 March, The Bath House, Dean St, Soho, London, W1. Nearest tube Tottenham Court Road. Entry £3."

Tell them Screenplay Europe sent you.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Cineuropa back in action: 2 European features

We wrote months ago that the Cineuropa news site is useful - but is never updated. Well, the good news is that the site is very much back in action with reports from across Europe, as well as a fairly complete industry database and links to a variety of sites and institutions.

Today's homepage features two items of particular interest: interviews with "Hotel Rwanda" director Terry George (who was also the scriptwriter for "In the Name of the Father") and writer/director Harry Cleven, currently making waves in Belgium with the sinister tale of rival twins "Trouble".

Visit CinEuropa.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Réservoir Scripts: Last call for Cannes

To break through some of the barriers between writers, producers and directors, a bunch of scriptwriters from six countries have come together to present 100 projects as a magazine called "Réservoir Scripts" at Cannes.

The projects consist of: a short pitch, a synopsis and an extract. All this on two A4 pages (font Courier New 12). There is still some room for anyone that can get us material by the end of this week (March 18).

This a non-commercial venture, in that the writers have nothing to pay. Submissions by invitation only to the e-mail address below. The site is currently in French, but we can guide you through the process of posting and participating.

Reservoir Scripts features writers from France (largely), Belgium, English and French-speaking Canada, the US and Ireland.

Email: writestuff(AT) French-speakers can request invitations directly from the site.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

"Up and Down" wins Czech movie award

Czech Republic's foreign-language nominee "Horem Padem/Up and Down" won three awards at the Czech annual Lions awards on March 5, nothing less than the best film, best director and best screenplay. The film follows the paths of two men, a football hooligan and a professor, as they try to come to terms with massive changes in their lives. All this against the background of the upheavals in Czech society. The director, Jan Hrebejk, co-wrote the film with Petr Jarchovsky. The pair worked together already on 2003's "Pupendo".

"Up and Down" was released in the US on February 27 and has been a regular at festivals. Vist the official site here. For the US trailer, visit Movie List.

UPDATE: "Up and Down" producers Total HelpArt inform us that the film actually picked four awards at the ceremony. Emilia Vásáryová was also recognised for her leading role. "Up and Down" is currently showing in the US. It will also doubtless be one of the hot tickets this year's Cannes Festival.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Eurimages greenlights 10 co-productions

The Council of Europe's Eurimages has announced that a total of 10 projects will receive part of the €3.4 million co-production fund. They include "The Golden Door" from Emanuele Crialese (Italy), "Madonen" from Maria Speth (Germany) and "Opowiesci Galicyjskie" from Dariusz Jablonski (Poland). Eurimages is also supporting the distribution of "Der Untergang/Downfall" and "Gegen die Wand" (Germany), "Kontroll" (Hungary) and "Cowboys & Angels" (Ireland) in different European territories.

See the full story on Eurimages.

Friday, March 04, 2005

Monaco to host Forum of Cinema & Literature

For the 4th time, Monaco will host the International Forum of Cinema & Literature between April 1-4. The event acts as an interface between the worlds of cinema and literature, with a literary rights market and screenings of book adaptations. Guests in previous years have included Jean-Jacques Beineix, Sidney Pollack, Mary Higgins Clark, Paulo Coelho, Philippe Geluck and Jim Sheridan.

Films being shown include the special premiere of L'Empire des Loups by Chris Nahon (from the book by Jean Christophe Grangè), starring Jean Reno and Laura Morante, in the presence of the cast and crew. Then there's A Good Woman by Mike Barker, starring Helene Hunt and Scarlett Johansson (based on Oscar Wilde's original work) and The Last Sign by Douglas Law, with Andie MacDowell, Tim Roth and Samuel Le Bihan (from "Un Soleil Trop Tard" by Anne Ray-Wendling).

For more details, check the Forum's website.