Ne te retourne pas (2009) - News Poster

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A Documentary About Rihanna Is Finally Being Released, and We Can't Wait

  • Popsugar
A Documentary About Rihanna Is Finally Being Released, and We Can't Wait
Rihanna Navy, are you listening? We hope you're ready to see a more intimate side of your favorite superstar, because Battleship director Peter Berg is releasing a documentary about Rihanna.

In 2016, Berg revealed he was working on a Rihanna documentary styled after the 1967 Bob Dylan film Don't Look Back. He described it as an "unfiltered look into Rihanna's life and how she's ascended to become a global icon." He also said he liked the idea of looking at "a young artist at the top of her professional field," and that the project would be "much more of a character study than a music film." Now, fans finally have some answers about when it will be released.

"It really is kind of a pretty comprehensive profile of what goes in to making her this talent that she is," he told SlashFilm. Berg also said that "the movie will be out in about a month and half,
See full article at Popsugar »

A Documentary About Rihanna Is Finally Being Released, and We Can't Wait

  • BuzzSugar
Rihanna Navy, are you listening? We hope you're ready to see a more intimate side of your favorite superstar, because Battleship director Peter Berg is releasing a documentary about Rihanna.

In 2016, Berg revealed he was working on a Rihanna documentary styled after the 1967 Bob Dylan film Don't Look Back. He described it as an "unfiltered look into Rihanna's life and how she's ascended to become a global icon." He also said he liked the idea of looking at "a young artist at the top of her professional field," and that the project would be "much more of a character study than a music film." Now, fans finally have some answers about when it will be released.

"It really is kind of a pretty comprehensive profile of what goes in to making her this talent that she is," he told SlashFilm. Berg also said that "the movie will be out in about a month and half,
See full article at BuzzSugar »

"Esquire" - Enter Monica Bellucci

  • SneakPeek
Take a look at new images of actress Monica Bellucci ("Spectre") in the August 2018 issue of "Esquire" (Spain), wearing Emporio Armani, Stella McCartney and a whole lot more, photographed by Ricardo Abrahao:

Bellucci's film career began in the early 1990's, playing roles in "La Riffa" (1991) and "Bram Stoker's Dracula" (1992).

In 1996 she was nominated for a 'César Award' for best supporting actress for her portrayal of 'Lisa' in "L'Appartement".

This was followed by roles in "Malèna" (2000), "Brotherhood of the Wolf" and "Irréversible" (2002).

She has since played in numerous films including "Tears of the Sun" (2003), "The Matrix Reloaded" (2003), "The Brothers Grimm" (2005), "Le Deuxième souffle" (2007), "Don't Look Back" (2009), and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" (2010).

Bellucci dubbed her own voice for the French and Italian releases of the film "Shoot 'Em Up" (2007), also voicing 'Kaileena' in the video game "Prince of Persia: Warrior Within" and the French voice of 'Cappy' for the French version of the
See full article at SneakPeek »

Sophie And Monica Confront "Don't Look Back"

Sneak Peek the poster and trailer supporting the 2009 French-language feature film "Ne te retourne pas" ("Don't Look Back"), starring Monica Bellucci and Sophie Marceau, written/directed by Marina De Van.

"...'Ne Te Retourne Pas' ('Don't Look Back') is a psychological-thriller about a woman who starts to see unsettling changes to her home, life and physical appearance. 'Jeanne' (Marceau) is a successful biographer, who, against the advice of her publisher, decides to write a novel based on her own life experiences. As she becomes consumed by her work, she starts to uncover a series of disturbing changes happening to her life.

"The world around her – her home, her family, her life – are beginning to transform into something beyond her recognition. Then she realizes that she too is changing... her body is beginning to change, and her physical features are slowly morphing into that of another woman (Bellucci), yet, no
See full article at SneakPeek »

Marina de Van's 'Don't Look Back' ('Ne Te Retourne Pas') gets IFC Midnight Release

Don’t Look Back a.k.a. Ne te retourne pas, from director Marina de Van (she directed the gruesome French body-horror In My Skin in 2003) is now part of IFC Films' a new genre label called IFC Midnight. This tense psychological thriller about a beautiful, best-selling author (Sophie Marceau) who loses her grip on reality as she slowly morphs into the body of another woman (Monica Bellucci) was an official selection last year at the Cannes Film Festival, and will premiere exclusively on VOD under the IFC Midnight label beginning in June 2010...

IFC Midnight will offer international genre cinema including horror, sci-fi, thrillers, erotic arthouse, action and more on video-on-demand; select titles will also be released in theaters at the same time as their VOD premiere. In addition, an IFC Midnight branded line of Blu-ray and DVD product will be released via a distribution arrangement with Mpi Media Group.
See full article at Planet Fury »

Breillat's Bad Love becomes a Must Read, not a Must See

If the debilitating after-effects of a stroke weren't bad enough (she miraculously gave birth to not one (The Last Mistress) but two films when you add the Nyff selection Bluebeard) now comes word that the Bad Love (a project which she mentioned to us the last time she came to Nyff for a film), a remake of Breillat's own film, is Doa. - Thanks to Fin De Cinema's Joe Bowman for piecing together an update on provocatrice filmmaker Catherine Breillat. If the debilitating after-effects of a stroke weren't bad enough (she miraculously gave birth to not one (The Last Mistress) but two films when you add the Nyff selection Bluebeard) now comes word that the Bad Love (a project which she mentioned to us the last time she came to Nyff for a film), a remake of Breillat's own film, is Doa. It would have starred model Naomi Campbell,
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Ne Te Retourne Pas (Don't Look Back) Review

Last night saw the opening of Hong Kong's 38th French Cinepanorama, which will host nearly 40 films in theatres around the city over the next two weeks. Kicking things off was Marina De Van's psychological drama, Ne Te Retourne Pas.

Already an accomplished biographer and writer of historical non-fiction, Jeanne (Sophie Marceau) has made the decision to turn her gaze inward and write her first novel, based on the first 8 years of her own life. The problem, however, is that due to some unknown childhood trauma, she has never been able to remember these years, and nobody, not even her own mother seems willing to divulge what happened. What's more, her family, friends and even her long-time publisher appear determined to discourage her from pursuing this idea, claiming it has begun to take an emotional toll on Jeanne. 
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Fangoria to be celebrated at Spain’s Sitges film fest

  • Fangoria
The 30th anniversary of Fangoria magazine will be honored at a special panel to be held at the 42nd edition of Spain’s prestigious Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia, to be held October 1-12. Longtime Fango editor Tony Timpone will be attending, joined by British correspondents Alan Jones, Calum Waddell and Axelle Carolyn, as well as Italian correspondent Roberto D’Onofrio. The Fango salute will take place on Sunday, Oct. 4 at 5 p.m. in the Tramuntana Room at the Meliá Hotel.

“For the last 30 years, Fangoria has been the cornerstone of the Sitges program’s diet,” says festival director Angel Sala, “the number-one source of information to feed the bowels of the beast. Fango has been the written witness of the horror scene around the world for over three decades. Sitges can only bow and pay due respect with a celebration for the fans.”

“The panel will be
See full article at Fangoria »

Sitges 2009 Complete Lineup

The Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia announces its complete program. There are still a few surprises to be confirmed, like the closing gala, but they have already put together the final list of films that will be screened at Sitges 09. Below you’ll find the titles of each film and their sections as well as links for the films that we have already reviewed here on Sound On Sight. Opening Film [Rec]2. Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró. 2009. Official FANTÀSTIC In Competition Section Accident. Soi Cheang. 2009. Accidents Happen. Andrew Lancaster. 2009. The Children. Tom Shankland. 2008. [1] Cold Souls. Sophie Bartes. 2009. The Countess. Julie Delpy. 2009. Les Derniers Jours Du Monde. Jean-Marie and Arnaud Larrieu. 2009. Dogtooth (Kynodontas). Yorgos Lanthimos. 2009. Dorian Gray. Oliver Parker. 2009. Enter The Void. Gaspar Noé. 2009. Grace. Paul Solet. 2009. [2] Heartless. Philip Ridley. 2009. Hierro. Gabe Ibáñez. 2009. La Horde. Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher. 2009. Ingrid. Eduard Cortés. 2009. Kinatay. Brillante Mendoza. 2009. Metropia. Tarik Saleh. 2009. Moon.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Sitges 09: And the full lineup includes...

The full lineup has been announced, and among the load of genre fare that's been running the fest circuit are the world premiers of:

Vincenzo Natali's latest, Splice, which we're all excited about.

Simon Fellows twisted adaptation Malice in Wonderland (trailer)

Along some of our personal favorites:

Black Dynamite (friggin awesome)

Swiss scifi flick Cargo (trailer)

Pater Sparrow's incredible Stanislaw Lem adaptation 1 (review)

The Mo Brothers Indonesian slasher Macabre (review)

Atm (get it?) horror-comedy The Human Centipede (review)

Full list after the break.

Opening Film

[Rec]2. Paco Plaza and Jaume Balagueró. 2009.

Official FANTÀSTIC In Competition Section

Accident. Soi Cheang. 2009.

Accidents Happen. Andrew Lancaster. 2009.

The Children. Tom Shankland. 2008.

Cold Souls. Sophie Bartes. 2009.

The Countess. Julie Delpy. 2009.

Les Derniers Jours Du Monde. Jean-Marie and Arnaud Larrieu. 2009.

Dogtooth (Kynodontas). Yorgos Lanthimos. 2009.

Dorian Gray. Oliver Parker. 2009.

Enter The Void. Gaspar Noé. 2009.

Grace. Paul Solet. 2009.

Heartless. Philip Ridley. 2009.

Hierro. Gabe Ibáñez. 2009.

La Horde. Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher.
See full article at QuietEarth »

Cannes 2009: Out of Competition Films, Special Screenings

Cannes 2009: Out of Competition Films / Special Screenings Below is a sample of out-of-competition films, special screenings, and midnight screenings at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival. Click on the images to enlarge them. Pete Docter, Up (Opening Night Film) Anne Aghion, My Neighbor, My Killer Alejandro Amenabar, Agora Terry Gilliam, The Imaginarium Of Doctor Parnassus Robert GUÉDIGUIAN, L’ARMÉE Du Crime (The Army of crime) Sam Raimi, Drag Me To Hell Marina de Van, Ne Te Retourne Pas (Don’t look back) Jan Kounen, Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (Closing Night Film) Photos: Courtesy Festival de Cannes
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Jacques Audiard on ‘A Prophet’ at Cannes

As Cannes continues to showcase some of the most compelling, provocative and controversial films of the year, Cinemoi bring us an update from the 62nd installment of the film festival. In an exclusive interview with Editor Les Cahiers du Cinema Charlotte Garson, she sings the praises of both Penelope Cruz's outstanding performance and the impeccable standard of her work with Pedro Almodovar in 'Broken Embraces' - which was one of the most highly anticipated films of the festival. We also meet Jacques Audiard, director of the French prison drama 'A Prophet' who talks about the popularity of American prison-based films and television programmes and the importance of providing a 'French reality' to these. We even get a sneak peak of the haunting film - which documents the violence and intrigue of life in prison. He is joined by the controversial director, Lars Von Trier, responsible for the gruesome 'Anti
See full article at t5m.com »

Cannes 2009: Ne Te Retourne Pas (Don’T Look Back) Review

Jeanne’s reality is bending. The successful journalistic author is loosing her hold on reality - her family becoming literally unrecognizable, her belongings changing and moving without being touched and without any recognition of the changes from anyone else, even her own face is shifting in the mirror. Is Jeanne going mad or is something else at play here, something connected to the strange girl only she seems to see and the book she is trying to write about the lost years of her childhood - the years before she turned eight, of which she can remember nothing? This is the world of Marina De Van’s Ne Te Retourne Pas.
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Monica Bellucci casts a spell for The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Monica Bellucci is to star alongside Nicolas Cage in The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

The 44-year-old Italian actress will play Veronica, a sorceress who is the long-lost love of Cage's character Balthazar Blake.

The Disney film revolves around a sorcerer who recruits and trains a young protege to help him fight the forces of darkness in modern-day Manhattan. Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer and Toby Kebbell round out the cast.

Variety says the movie is shooting in New York City with Jon Turteltaub at the helm and is set for release on July 16, 2010.

Bellucci played Persephone in The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, Mary Magdalene in The Passion of the Christ and a vampire seductress in Bram Stoker's Dracula.

She will next be seen in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee and also in the French film Ne Te Retourne Pas (Don't Look Back), which debuts on Saturday at the Cannes Film Festival.
See full article at The Geek Files »

Two Leads, Two Teasers.  It’s the Bellucci Teaser for French Thriller Ne Te Retourne Pas!

We first wrote about Marina De Van’s Ne Te Retourne Pas shortly after it was announced as part of the midnight program at this year’s Cannes Festival and it’s back now for a very simple reason. A film that seems to place two leads in one body - which this one does with Monica Bellucci and Sophie Marceau - clearly needs two trailers. The initial trailer was all about Marceau and that trailer has just now been joined by a second, this one all about Bellucci. What’s the head-scratcher about?

Jeanne a writer, married, with two children - starts to see unsettling changes in her home. Her body is beginning to change. No one around her seems to notice. Her family dismisses these fears as the result of the stress of having to finish her next book, but Jeanne realizes that something far deeper, far more disturbing is taking place.
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

First Teaser For Cannes Midnight Selection Ne Te Retourne Pas

Writer-director Marina De Van’s Ne Te Retourne Pas, recently selected to screen in the midnight program in Cannes, is shaping up to be a real head scratcher. The film stars Monica Bellucci and Sophie Marceau as, apparently, the same character - a device that immediately calls to mind David Lynch’s Lost Highway, only with the added benefit of getting to spend much of the run time looking at Monica Bellucci instead of Bill Pullman. Sorry, Bill, but it’s true - you’re going to lose that contest every time.

Jeanne a writer, married, with two children - starts to see unsettling changes in her home. Her body is beginning to change. No one around her seems to notice. Her family dismisses these fears as the result of the stress of having to finish her next book, but Jeanne realizes that something far deeper, far more disturbing is taking place.
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Line-Up of 2009 Cannes Film Festival Announced

The official selection of movies to be shown at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival has finally been unveiled. In the festival that will be kicked off on May 13 and wrapped on May 24, a total of 52 films will be featured from four categories, In Competition, Un Certain Regard, Out of Competition, and Special Screenings.

Pedro Almodovar's "Broken Embraces", Ang Lee's "Taking Woodstock" and Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" are listed among the 20 In Competition movies. They will be up against Jane Campion's "Bright Star", Ken Loach's "Looking for Eric", Michael Haneke's "The White Ribbon", Lars von Trier's "Antichrist" and Park Chan-wook's "Thirst" among others.

Terry Gilliam-directed drama fantasy starring Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Jude Law and the late Heath Ledger, "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus", has been included in the Out of Competition line-up. In the meantime, Sam Raimi's horror "Drag Me to Hell" enters the Midnight Screenings list.
See full article at Aceshowbiz »

Cannes 2009: Closer Look at the Out of Comp, Midnight & Special Screenings

  • Traditionally, the spots in the Out of Competition, Midnight and Special Screenings are reserved to Hollywood Studios looking to promote a soon-to-be-released summer title, socially relevant documentary film or some genre film from South Korea. I'm surprised that neither Angels & Demons, nor Terminator Salvation (2009)Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins
[/link] took up a spot. Out of the trio of titles in the Out of Comp section, the film journalists will be flocking to see Heath Ledger's last perf, but I'll be more interested in how Terry Gilliam changes horses mid-stream with The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Alejandro Amenabar's Agora is one more heavyweight production grabbing a slot, and thus makes this Cannes edition a great one for Spanish film. A well liked filmmaker in France, Robert Guediguian (Marius et Jeannette) hasn't visited with Cannes often, so The Army of Crime which was tapped for a possible spot in the Competition, will
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »

Eastern European Distributors at the San Sebastian Film Festival

The European Film Promotion (EFP) and the San Sebastian International Film Festival (September 18-27) launched a new promotion initiative entitled "European Distributors: Up Next".

Ten independent distributors from Central and Eastern Europe attending the festival discussed the possibilities of theatrical distribution on a European level. Since the majority of European producers do not cross national borders, the meetings in San Sebastian were aimed to create possible platform and networking opportunities to improve the circulation of European productions.

• From Slovenia, Natasa Bucar, project manager of the cultural center Cankarjev Dom, a public institution that organizes many events promoting film, including the Ljubljana International Film Festival has been in art film distribution for the last 15 years. They distribute five to six titles every year to fill the gap in theatrical distribution of European high-profile films in Slovenia. Priority is given to established and not always well-known European and other international filmmakers. Their last distributed titles were Neil Jordan’s ‘Breakfast on Pluto’, Tony Gatlif’s ‘Transylvania’, Bent Hamer’s ‘Factotum’, Dagur Kari’s ‘Dark Horse’, Corneliu Porumboiu’s ‘12:08 East of Bucharest’, Roy Andersson’s ‘You, the Living’, Pascale Ferran’s ‘Lady Chatterley’, Marjane Satrapi’s ‘Persepolis’ and Shane Meadows’ ‘This Is England’.

Besides Cankarjev Dom, there are only four arthouse cinemas in Slovenia. They need more along with arthouse cinema networks to enable better film promotion. In Slovenia, like everywhere in Europe, the number of cinema viewers has fallen drastically. Audiences focus on fewer films, the top 20 films take up to almost 50% of the market in Slovenia.

• From Hungary, Rita Linda Potyondi of Cirko Film - Másképp Foundation, the only Hungarian distributor to operate as a non-profit-foundation, they also own one theater in Budapest. Working on a showstring budget, they are guided by personal tastes and focus on international and particularly European ‘difficult’ auteur films with targeted or limited audiences, especially those that explore themes related to discriminated groups: homosexuals, handicapped people, ethnic or religious minorities and victims of family abuse. Their last releases include films by Robert Guédiguian, Bruno Dumont, Fernando Leon de Aranoa, Baltasar Kormakur, Alain Corneau, Bruno Podalydès, Bertrand Bonello, Claire Denis, Ferzan Ozpetek, Catalin Mitulescu and Oskar Roehler. A recent surprise success was Anders Thomas Jensen’s ‘Adam's Apples’ which became a sort of cult film. They also did well with Palme d’Or-winner ‘4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days’, and ‘Persepolis’, Susanne Bier’s ‘After the Wedding, ‘Red Road’, ‘My Brother Is An Only Child’, ‘A Soap’, ‘Our Daily Bread’. Upcoming are the Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne's ‘Lorna’s Silence’, Gustave de Kervern and Benoit Belepine’s ‘Louise Michel’, Nic Balthazar’s ‘Ben X’, Simon Staho’s ‘Heaven’s Heart’, Ole Christian Madsen’s ‘Kira’s Reason’, Josef Fares’ ‘Leo’, Anders Thomas Jensen’s ‘The Green Butchers’ and ‘Flickering Lights’, and Ole Bornedal’s ‘Just Another Love Story’.

• Czech distributor Artcam’s Managing Director Premysl Martinek knows he is fighting an uphill battle. In 2007 combined total admissions for Artcam's films were under 50,000 — 0.4 percent of the national total. By comparison, leading distributor Falcon drew more than 4,000,000 viewers with its films, nearly a third of the market. However Martinek is convinced there is room in the market for small distributors and is interested in the shared challenges, from the opportunities offered by digital distribution and video-on-demand to how to negotiate with producers on minimum guarantees. The main problem is cultivating an audience. “It's very different from in Holland or Germany, where there are audiences for arthouse films,” he says.

Most of Artcam's target market is in Prague, home to roughly 1,000,000 people where European film is largely restricted to a handful of single-screen theatres, while the city's 14 multiplexes focus primarily on Hollywood imports and successful local films.

Artcam has distributed some of the most widely heralded European films of recent years, including Ole Madsen's drama ‘Prague’, ‘Persepolis’ and ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’. The international success of such films has attracted the attention of larger distributors who are now crowding the arena. This year in Cannes when they tried to acquire ‘Waltz with Bashir’, there was greater competition. Martinek says arthouse is an important part of any film culture, and lack of access to European films is hurting Czech cinema because if they lack exposure to the cinema of other countries, from new ways of narration, they cannot develop their own cinema. The Czech Ministry of Education has introduced media studies to secondary school curricula to show young people that film is “not just fun and popcorn. It's also art.”

• Polish distribution company Gutek’s Jakub Duszyński, artistic director and head of programming (along with Roman Gutek) at the Muranow movie theater also programs for the different festivals held at the theatre and for Poland’s largest film event, the Era New Horizons Film Festival in Wroclaw. A lawyer by training and a fan of Asian genre films, Duszynski has also set up a distribution company (Blink) specializing in this type of film.

Gutek Film has always been a launching pad for auteur films and has released films by Lars Von Trier, Pedro Almodóvar, Jim Jarmush and Wong Kar-Wai. Every year, they distribute two or three films not aimed solely at auteur film enthusiasts, but also at multiplex audiences. Among such titles are Tom Tykwer’s ‘Perfume: The Story of a Murderer’ and ‘Control’. Coming up are Polish features including Jerzy Skolimowski’s ‘Four Nights With Anna’, Piotr Lazarkiewicz’s ‘0_1_0’ and Katarzyna Adamik’s ‘Boisko bezdomnych’. They distribute almost exclusively European films. The box office is certainly dominated by US films, but by only a few titles which often have, interestingly, something European about them, for example they may be inspired by European literature.

• Slovakia’s Michal Drobny is marketing manager for Slovak distributor Continental Film. Slovakia sees 2,500,000 to 3,000,000 admissions in a year. A successful film for Continental is 10,000 to 15,000 admissions, as compared to one of the Harry Potter films which will have 200,000 admissions.

Continental releases 30 to 40 films a year and, thanks largely to its partnership with Warner Bros, enjoys a market share of 20%–30%. Continental also serve as Slovak distribution partners for Hollywood Classic Entertainment, which often buys rights to European and arthouse titles for several Eastern European territories at once. Continental acquires other titles through direct negotiation with the producers, usually from the Czech Republic. Drobny seldom attends festivals other than Berlin. This year is his first visit to San Sebastian.

Margins are tight for Continental, which is the second or third largest distributor in Slovakia. Continental is also a 30% shareholder in Slovak multiplex chain Cinemax, which owns nine cinemas countrywide. Continental also operated Bratislava's only arthouse cinema until it was turned into a congress hall.

Continental counts on public money for a small portion of its operating budget. The Slovak Ministry of Culture gives support up to a maximum of SKK 160,000 (€5,500) for the distribution of European films which covers the cost of two or three prints. Continental also receives funding through the MEDIA automatic support scheme, typically receiving 40 to 60 cents per admission for European films.

Drobny says this public support is welcome but it's seldom enough to make a real difference to distributors. “A print for a US title costs $300 [€210]. For a European title, the cost is $1,000–1500 [€700–1,000] for the print, plus I still need to pay for the all the marketing materials and the cost of subtitles,” he says. “We can't be surprised that American films are everywhere.”

Not surprisingly few European films secure distribution in Slovakia. Cinemax promotes European and arthouse film through its Artmax program and screens independent films once a week, sometimes for free. Current titles in the selection include ‘Good Bye, Lenin!’, ‘The Secret Life of Words’, ‘The Science of Sleep’, ‘Volver’ and ‘Angel’. In cooperation with the Embassy of Spain, Continental and Cinemax are creating a Spanish Days celebration of Spanish cinema at Cinemax locations in November.

Drobny has hopes that digital cinema will help small distributors, but believes it will be five to ten years before the major studios settle on a common format. Even then, the costs of converting screens will be challenging for the private sector. “To install one 2K digital system costs SKK 3m–4m [€100,000–132,000] and we have 37 screens, so it's a lot of money,” he says. “We'd like to invest but it will take a long time to see a return on that investment.”

• From Romania, Transilvania Film, founded by Tudor Giurgiu and currently run by Stefan Bradea is one of the successful pioneers of arthouse film distribution in Romania. At first they distributed mainly British, German and Scandinavian features but gradually turned to quality Romanian films, genre pictures, even some mainstream American movies. Their eclectic selection is targeted to the highly educated public, basically university graduates under 35. Their latest premiere was ‘Non pensarci’ by Gianni Zanasi, an Italian comedy. Coming up are Gus Van Sant’s ‘Paranoid Park’ and a few Romanian films: Horatiu Malaele’s ‘Silent Wedding’, Adrian Sitaru’s ‘Hooked’ and Anca Damian’s debut, ‘Crossing Dates’. Their most profitable film was Tudor Giurgiu’s ‘Love Sick’ with 20,800 admissions and a box office gross of over €50,000. Other successful features were Neil Burger’s ‘The Illusionist’, with 11,500 admissions, and ‘Paris Je T’Aime’, with 9,715 admissions.

Film distribution business in Romania is rather unstable. There are eight active distributors bringing 150-160 features every year to 40-50 screens around the country. The number of distributors is growing and it is becoming a overserved field.

The Romanian mainstream public has little interest in European arthouse film and there are very few available screens, no arthouse cinemas and a poor DVD and TV arthouse market. And there is competition among distributors.

Stefan Kitanov is the founder of the most important annual film event in Bulgaria, the Sofia International Film Festival. In 2001 he founded ART FEST Ltd., the company behind Sofia IFF. The same company is one of the key European film distributors in Bulgaria. ART FEST Ltd. has three components: production, distribution and exhibition.

Most recent releases include Fatih Akin’s ‘The Edge of Heaven’, ‘The Palermo Shooting ‘by Wim Wenders and ‘Delta’ by Kornel Mundruczo. The most successful releases were Francois Ozon’s ‘Swimming Pool’ and ‘Crossing the Bridge’ by Fatih Akin with 8,000 to 10,000 admissions.

Such a distribution business is not profitable. Festival audiences like European films but the general audience likes Hollywood films. Festival audiences don’t go to regular cinemas. The general audience goes to regular cinemas, therefore European films don’t go regularly to mainstream cinemas. There need to be events around the distribution of European films so that they be seen, such as a traveling package going to different towns, whether it is with 35mm or video screenings. There are less than 30 towns in Bulgaria with cinemas.

• From Estonia, Katrin Rajaare of Tallinnfilm, a state-owned company that used to produce the majority of Estonian films during the Soviet era has stopped production and sold its studio and now focuses on restoration of its archives. In 2004, Tallinnfilm began operating as an arthouse cinema and a year later started a distribution operation to ensure continuous programming for the cinema. Tallinnfilm acquires the rights to 12-16 films a year, mostly European films, with some titles from Asia and the US. As a state-owned company, Tallinnfilm buys mostly Estonian theatrical rights only. It is the second largest distribution company in Estonia, with a market share of 2.6%. In the Baltic countries, all rights are acquired for smaller films and shared with Lithuania’s Skalvija and Latvia’s Kino Riga. Their biggest hit in 2007 was ‘La Vie en Rose’ with 9,606 paid admissions. This film was number 43 in the 2007 national box office chart. Only US and Estonian films were at the top of the chart. Recent acquisitions include ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’ and ‘Vicky Christina Barcelona’ to be released around Christmas and the beginning of 2009.

There is a small, steady market for arthouse titles in the capital city of Tallinn, but the recent opening of a five-screen miniplex in the second city, Tartu (96,000 inhabitants), has brought hope from the outskirts as well. There are very few towns where you can screen European films, although the cinemas have received public support for technical equipment and should screen arthouse titles, but the reality is that you can’t force cinemas to screen certain films that won’t bring in audiences.

• From Lithuania Skalvija, an exhibitor since 1962 under the name of Planeta became the only arthouse in Lithuania in 1992. It has only one screen and 88 seats and is subsidized by the Vilnius Municipality. Located in the city center; it promotes quality cinema and pays special attention to young audiences and education. Its market share as an exhibitor is 1.11%. Two major multiplex theatres share 70 % of the entire Lithuanian exhibition market. Greta Akcijonaite heads its recent arthouse film distribution activity. Over the last two years they have released 10 films theatrically, and another 5 have been acquired for Lithuania and/or all the Baltic States. As a very small and specialized distributor, Skalvija has a market share of 0.64%. Most recent releases were the Danish film ‘Adam's Apples’, with almost 8,000 admissions and the Spanish film ‘Dark Blue Almost Black’ with over 6000 admissions. Recent acquisitions include Sam Garbarski’s ‘Irina Palm’ (Belgium/UK), Kornel Mundruczo’s ‘Delta’ (Hungary), the Palme d’Or winner ‘The Class’ (France) by Laurent Cantet, Thomas Clay’s ‘Soy Cowboy’ (Thailand/UK), Ruben Östlund’s’ Involuntary’ (Sweden), and Ilmar Raag’s ‘The Class’ (Estonia).

The market share of the European films released theatrically was 25% in 2007 although the share of admissions to European films was only 11%. There is definitely a lack of venues for screening European and quality films.

• Latvia’s Oskars Killo heads Acme Film Sia the leading independent film distributor in Latvia, established in 2004 and owned by Acme, a Lithuanian based company. The rights for Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are bought by the mother company in Lithuania. In 2007, Acme Film had 62 theatrical releases and a 25% market share. In 2008, the number of films released will be the same, but the revenue is expected to be higher. In 2008, Acme Film has had such European successes as French films ‘99 Francs’ and ‘Asterix at the Olympic Games’, and Spain’s ‘The Orphanage’. The last European hit was ‘2 Days in Paris’, released on one print on July 4, 2008 and still in release with 12,500 admissions thus far. ‘Cash’ was released on one print on August 1 and has 8,500 admissions so far. The results for ‘2 Days in Paris’ and ‘Cash’ are comparable to recent US releases in Latvia such as ‘The X-Files 2’, and ‘Disaster Movie’. Recent European acquisitions include ‘Happy-Go-Lucky’, ‘Paris’, ‘JCVD’, ‘The Duchess’, ‘Vicky Christina Barcelona’, ‘Vinyan’, ‘Ne te retourne pas’ among others.

In 2007, European films had a 18.3% market share, US films a 66% market share, the rest of the world 10.1% and national films a 5.5% market share.

See also

Showtimes | External Sites


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