Saturday, January 26, 2008

Nas Not Dropped From Label and other Latest News

As well as the news from FemaleFirstwe take a look at the Oscars, the tragedy of Heath Ledger, and Mark Ronson and the Brits.

The fate of the Oscars ceremony is still up in the air, but that doesn't mean producer Gil Cates & Co. has stopped working to put a show together. So much so that I’m told requests have gone out to potential presenters. A well-placed source reports that Cameron Diaz is one of the first—if not the first—to sign on as a presenter.“Not confirming anything,” Diaz’s rep said in an email. "Any conversations about the Oscars are contingent upon the status of the strike." It would be Diaz's fifth time as a presenter at the Academy Awards.While Cates hasn’t revealed any backup plans if the Writers Guild pickets the 80th annual awards gala on Feb. 24—many big-name celebs like George Clooney have said they will not cross the picket line—I’m told the mood at the Academy is upbeat, and they're optimistic they won’t be left with a Golden Globes-like fiasco

Tara Reid agree's with the jailing of Lohan and Hilton, Mark Ronsons meteororic rise to fame is charted in our feature, and we look back on the short but interesting career.
Get all these and any breaking news from FemaleFirst...
Joclyn Manners

Entertainment Gossip
Mark Ronson's chart conquest With a bunch of BRIT and Grammy nominations and the promise of a third album, this looks set to be Mark Ronson's year.

Tom Hanks: Hollywood's nice guy turns bad Tom Hanks is Hollywood's ultimate nice guy. He's been one of Tinseltown's biggest stars for over 20 years but there's never been a bad word said about him. You don't hear stories of Hanks falling out of nightclubs, being in rehab or sleeping with every woman who comes his way, and Hanks is quite happy with his reputation.

Nas Not Dropped From Label.
Def Jam label bosses have hit back at reports the company is dropping rapper Nas over his plans to title his next album Nigger.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Oscars: Miramax Films Flying High with Remarkable 21 Nominations for 'No Country For Old Men,'

22 Jan 2008 20:48 Africa/Lagos

Miramax Films Flying High with Remarkable 21 Nominations for 'No Country For Old Men,' 'The Diving Bell and The Butterfly,' 'Gone Baby Gone' And 'There Will Be Blood' As The 80th Annual Academy Award Nominations Are Announced

"No Country for Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood" tie for most nominations at 8

"No Country for Old Men*" Nabs 8 Nominations, including: Best Picture Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for Best Director Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for Best Adapted Screenplay Javier Bardem for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Roger Deakins for Best Cinematography Roderick Jaynes for Best Film Editing Peter Kurland, Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff for Best Sound Mixing Skip Lievsay for Best Sound Editing

"The Diving Bell and The Butterfly" Lands 4 Nominations: Julian Schnabel for Best Director Ronald Harwood for Best Adapted Screenplay Janusz Kaminski for Best Cinematography Juliette Welfling for Best Film Editing

"Gone Baby Gone" Lauded with Nomination for Amy Ryan for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

"There Will Be Blood*" Scores 8 Nominations, including: Best Picture Daniel Day Lewis for Best Actor in a Leading Role Paul Thomas Anderson for Best Director Paul Thomas Anderson for Best Adapted Screenplay Robert Elswit for Best Cinematography Dylan Tichenor for Best Film Editing Jack Fisk for Best Art Direction Matthew Wood for Best Sound Editing

NEW YORK, Jan. 22 /PRNewswire/ --

When the nominations for the 80th Annual Academy Award nominations were announced today in Los Angeles, Miramax Films as a company received an astounding 21 overall nominations, including 8 for "No Country for Old Men," 4 for "The Diving Bell and The Butterfly," one for "Gone Baby Gone," and 8 for "There Will Be Blood."

"I am so thrilled that Miramax's faith in these extraordinary filmmakers and their ambitious work has been rewarded by the Academy. To have 21 nominations across four films is an incredible achievement for Miramax," said Daniel Battsek, company president.

Bringing the Coen brothers together with one of America's leading novelists, Cormac McCarthy, "No Country for Old Men," is about people dealing with a morally inscrutable universe. The film received a Best Picture nomination and is produced by Scott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen. Executive producers are Robert Graf and Mark Roybal.

"I couldn't possibly be more thrilled for Joel and Ethan. To me, they are among the most exciting and visionary filmmakers making movies anywhere in the world. To have had the honor of making this movie with them, and of watching them collaborate with the great American writer Cormac McCarthy -- well, that's been a tremendous reward in itself. It's a thrill to see the Academy recognize their work and that of our creative partners on the movie -- Javier Bardem, Roger Deakins, Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff, Peter Kurland, and all of our colleagues," said Scott Rudin.

In addition to their Best Picture nomination for "No Country," previous Academy Award-winners Joel Coen and Ethan Coen also received nominations for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. The Coens together previously won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay in 1997 for the film "Fargo," for which Joel was nominated for Best Director and Ethan was nominated for Best Picture as producer. They also received an Oscar nomination for their screenplay for "O, Brother Where Art Thou?" in 2000.

"We are very happy to have received these nominations and would like to thank the Academy and all of our friends and associates with whom we made this film-especially Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Kelly Macdonald, Woody Harrelson, cinematographer Roger Deakins, editor Roderick Jaynes, author Cormac McCarthy, producers Scott Rudin and Robert Graf, Daniel Battsek and everyone at Miramax Films and Paramount Vantage. Thank you very much," said Ethan and Joel Coen.

Previously nominated for an Academy Award for his leading role in 2001's "Before Night Falls," Javier Bardem recently won a Golden Globe for his performance in "No Country."

Said Bardem: "It's an honor to receive this nomination, which is undoubtedly the recognition of the work and talent of all those creative and professional people from my trade, that have inspired and improved me during all these years. And especially to the Coen brothers' genius, because they have raised the character of Chigurh into a dimension that goes beyond my performance. Thanks to Scott Rudin, Miramax and Paramount Vantage for giving me the change to work alongside such talented actors - Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones and Kelly Macdonald. My gratitude to all the Academy for this wonderful gift."

Cinematographer Roger Deakins received an amazing two nominations today, for both "No Country" and for "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford," marking his sixth and seventh Academy Award nominations. He was previously nominated for three of his other Coen brother collaborations, "The Man Who Wasn't There" in 2002, "O, Brother, Where Art Thou?" in 2001 and "Fargo" in 1997. In addition, he received nominations for "Kundun" in 1998 and "The Shawshank Redemption" in 1995.

"It's such an honor to be nominated for 'No Country.' What can you say about working with Joel and Ethan - they're the best!" said Deakins.

Editor Roderick Jaynes today garnered his second Academy Award nomination for Best Film Editing. A previous Oscar nominee for "Fargo," Jaynes also received an ACE nomination for that film.

Sound mixer Peter Kurland was previously nominated for an Oscar for his work on "Walk the Line." Today's nod marks sound mixer Craig Berkey's first Oscar nomination. Academy Award-winning sound mixer Greg Orloff previously won for the film "Ray." Sound mixer and editor Skip Lievsay received two nominations today, his first Academy nods. He was previously nominated for an Emmy for the HBO film "4 Little Girls."

The Oscar(R) nominations for "No Country for Old Men," are the latest in a series of honors the film has already received, including Best Film awards from the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Washington Area Film Critics Association, the Boston Society of Film Critics and the Chicago Film Critics Association; Best Acting Ensemble awards from the National Board of Review and the Washington Area Film Critics; Best Director awards from the New York Film Critics Circle, the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Chicago Film Critics Association; Best Screenplay from the Golden Globes, the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle and the Chicago Film Critics Association; and Best Supporting Actor awards for Javier Bardem from the Golden Globes, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Washington Area Film Critics Association, the Boston Society of Film Critics, the New York Film Critics Online and the Chicago Film Critics Association. "No Country for Old Men" also received 9 BAFTA nominations including Best Film.

Through a mesmerizing blast of color, beauty and humor, and a rousing spirit of creativity, "The Diving Bell and The Butterfly" tells the story of Jean-Dominique Bauby, the high-flying editor of French Elle and father of two, who was renowned for his sense of humor and style, his joie de vivre and amorous energy, when, in an instant, his world was plunged into the depths of catastrophe. The film earned Julian Schnabel a nomination for Best Director, Ronald Harwood a nod for Best Screenplay, Janusz Kaminski a Best Cinematography nomination and Juliette Welfling a Best Film Editing nomination.

Among numerous other accolades this season, Julian Schnabel recently won the Golden Globe award for Best Director. This is his first Oscar nomination. Screenwriter Ronald Harwood won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2003 for "The Piano" and was nominated in the same category for "The Dresser" (1984).

"Thank you, this is a great honor. I am extremely happy for Juliette Welfling, Janusz Kaminski and Ronald Harwood for their nominations. It's hard to believe that this foreign language film received four big nominations for director, editing, cinematography and screenplay - that in itself is a huge win for us," said Julian Schnabel.

Said Harwood: "This nomination is particularly important to me since the screenplay was the most challenging and difficult of my career. When Kathy Kennedy first sent me Jean-Dominique's moving memoir I wasn't sure how it could be translated into a viable film given the complicated nature of the subject matter. After much agonizing when I finally came up with the concept of focusing the first part of the film from Jean-Do's point-of-view and through his eyes the rest seemed to flow quite naturally. Given this was such complicated and challenging material this honor from the motion picture academy is not only a vote of confidence for me and my work but also celebrates Jean-Dominique's life."

Cinematographer Janusz Kaminski has previously won two Academy Awards for his work, in 1999 for "Saving Private Ryan" and in 1994 for "Schindler's List." In addition, he was nominated for 1998's "Amistad."

"Getting this recognition from the Academy is a tremendous honor and to have them recognize my colleagues with Director, Adapted Screenplay and Editing nominations as well makes it even more thrilling. Hopefully these nominations will encourage more people to see the film because it's a life- affirming story full of hope," said Janusz Kaminiski.

With these nominations, "The Diving Bell and The Butterfly" continues an impressive streak of honors that includes: the Best Film award from the New York Film Critics Online; the Best Foreign Film award from the National Board of Review, the Boston Society of Film Critics, the Washington Area Film Critics Association and the San Francisco Film Critics Circle; the Best Director award for Julian Schnabel from the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, the Golden Globe awards and the Boston Society of Film Critics; the Best Cinematography award for Janusz Kaminiski from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and the Boston Society of Film Critics; the Sloan Award at the 2007 Hamptons Film Festival; the Audience Award at the 2007 AFI Film Festival; the Grand Prize Best of Fest at the 2007 Ft. Lauderdale International Film Festival and the Gateway Film Critic's Award for Best Film of the Festival at the 2007 St. Louis Film Festival. "Diving Bell" also recently received two BAFTA nominations.

Amy Ryan received a nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for her harrowing portrayal of a missing child's mother in Ben Affleck's "Gone Baby Gone." With this nod, Ryan caps off a year that has including winning countless Best Supporting Actress awards including: the National Board of Review, the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the Washington Area Film Critics Association, the Boston Society of Film Critics, the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, the Phoenix Film Critics Society, the Southeastern Film Critics Association. Ryan is also nominated for a Screen Actors Guild award for this performance.

"Thank you so much to the Academy for this honor. In a year with so many great films, it is truly amazing to be nominated in the company of such talent actresses. I must thank Ben Affleck who is an extraordinary and gifted writer and director. I also want to thank Aaron Stockard, who wrote the script with Ben, and Dennis Lehane, for giving me Helene - this wonderfully delicious role to play. I am forever grateful to my fellow cast members, Miramax, and everyone else involved in 'Gone Baby Gone,'" said Amy Ryan.

"There Will Be Blood," a Miramax co-production with Paramount Vantage, was honored with nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor for Daniel Day-Lewis, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay for Paul Thomas Anderson, Best Cinematography for Robert Elswit, Best Film Editing for Dylan Tichenor, Best Art Direction for Jack Fisk and Best Sound Editing for Matthew Wood. Day-Lewis previously received an Academy Award for his performance in "My Left Foot" in 1990 and was nominated for his performances in "Gangs of New York" in 2003 and "In the Name of the Father" in 1994. Anderson was previously nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay for "Magnolia" in 2000 and "Boogie Nights" in 1998. Cinematographer Robert Elswit was previously nominated for his work on 2006's "Good Night, and Good Luck." Today's nominations mark the first Academy Award nominations for Dylan Tichenor, Jack Fisk and Matthew Wood.

*Both "No Country For Old Men" and "There Will Be Blood" are co- productions with Paramount Vantage.

For more information, please visit:

Source: Miramax Films

CONTACT: Emily Bear, +1-917-606-5500

Web site:

Monday, January 21, 2008

Move Over Rover Let Barack Take Over

21 Jan 2008 12:00 Africa/Lagos

Move Over Rover Let Barack Take Over

Time Has Come for Change, Let the Whole World Know

CHICAGO, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ --

Strange Cargo has been kicking out t-shirts of questionable taste from their Chicago storefront for almost 15 years. Now they have decided to take it one step further and get political. So, when Jimi Hendrix first took the stage in the '60s he changed Rock n' Roll forever. Now some 40 years later Barack Obama is doing the same to America's political landscape. He is changing who a candidate for President can be, what a candidate for President can be, and how a candidate for President can be. He is the person to bring about change. The time has come for Rover to Move Over and Let Barack Take Over.


Let everyone know change is gonna come. Put it on your chest at $1.00 from each shirt sold will go to the "Obama for America" campaign so we can put this man in the White House where he belongs.

Time Has Come For Change, Let The Whole World Know

Jay Schwartz -
Paul Butler -
c/o Strange Cargo
3448 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60657
f. 733-327-3437

AP Archive:
AP PhotoExpress Network: PRN1
PRN Photo Desk,

CONTACT: Jay Schwartz,, or Paul Butler,, both of Strange Cargo, +1-773-327-8090, fax,

Web site:

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Rolling Stones & Universal Music Link for 'Shine A Light' Soundtrack

18 Jan 2008 04:02 Africa/Lagos

The Rolling Stones & Universal Music Link for 'Shine A Light' Soundtrack

London, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ --

The Rolling Stones and Universal Music Group (UMG) are delighted to announce they have signed an exclusive worldwide recording agreement for the group's next album due for release in March 2008.

The one album deal is for the soundtrack CD from director Martin Scorsese's film 'Shine A Light'. The movie, set for cinema release in April 2008, was shot at The Rolling Stones' acclaimed performance at New York's Beacon Theatre in the autumn of 2006. With special guests Buddy Guy, White Stripes' Jack White and Christine Aguilera joining the Stones onstage, the Oscar-winning director captures an extraordinary performance from the band. The film also integrates rarely seen archival footage of the Stones in a unique cinema experience.

A spokesman for The Rolling Stones said, "The band are looking forward to working with Universal Music and are excited about this new venture."

This new deal for the Rolling Stones comes on the back of their record breaking A Bigger Bang World Tour which ended in triumph at London's O2 Arena in August 2007.

The 'Shine A Light' soundtrack will receive a physical and digital release across Universal Music's labels around the world. It will be released in the US by Interscope Records.

About Universal Music Group

Universal Music Group is the world's largest music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 countries. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry's largest global music publishing operation.

Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, Emarcy, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Geffen Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, Machete Music, MCA Nashville, Mercury Nashville, Mercury Records, Philips, Polydor Records, Universal Music Latino, Universal Motown Republic Group, Universal South Records and Verve Music Group, as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and Universal Strategic Marketing (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, a new media and technologies division, and Global Digital Initiatives.

Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.

Source: Universal Music Group

CONTACT: Dennis Dennehy, +1-310-865-7934, for Interscope Records; or
Fran Curtis of Rogers & Cowan, +1-212-445-8423, for The Rolling Stones

Thursday, January 17, 2008

2008 Sundance Film Festival Announces Short Films Available Online to Audiences Worldwide

16 Jan 2008 19:17 Africa/Lagos

2008 Sundance Film Festival Announces Short Films Available Online to Audiences Worldwide

Sundance Institute and Sundance Channel Announce the Short Films Available on, the iTunes Store, Netflix, and Xbox 360

PARK CITY, Utah, Jan. 16 /PRNewswire/ --

Sundance Institute and Sundance Channel announced today the program of 2008 Sundance Film Festival short films available far beyond the streets of Park City for free on and for sale on the iTunes Store, Netflix and Xbox 360.

This year's short films include sophisticated animation, compelling nonfiction work, action-packed dramas, outrageous comedies, and everything in between. The 2008 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17-27, in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

Premiering January 18 and running all 10 days of the Festival, audiences worldwide can view one short film each day of the Festival for free for 24 hours at At the same time, Sundance Institute helps build audiences for short films through partnerships with the iTunes Movie Store, Xbox LIVE, the online entertainment network for Microsoft's Xbox 360, and through Netflix's instant watching feature on the company's member Web Site. Presented in collaboration with Sundance Channel, a selection of 45 short films from the 2008 Sundance Film Festival shorts will launch simultaneously on all three platforms beginning January 18, 2008 and run through 2011.

The Festival's Shorts Programs showcase the creative, boundary-pushing work of filmmaking's newest talents. Short films screen in Festival theatres prior to a feature film or as part of one of the Festival's eight short film programs. The Short Film Program, both at the Festival and online is presented by Festival sponsor, Adobe Systems.

Short films have always played an important part in the Sundance Film Festival and were inaugurated as an official program in 1991. The shorts program at Sundance has long been established as a discovery for directors, including Todd Haynes, Spike Jonze, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, David O. Russell, Tamara Jenkins, Nicole Holofcener, and Alexander Payne.


Beginning January 18, visit to view 10 short films over 10 days from the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, each streaming free online for 24 hours beginning at 12:01 am MST each day. From a sublimely sweet love story set among zombies and a thriller about an Inuit hunter witnessing a murder to the tale of a man's affection for his miniature guide horse and the true story of a man looking for answers to his failed marriage, these shorts truly celebrate the innovation of the short filmmaking craft.

Day 1: Friday, January 18
I Love Sarah Jane (Director: Spencer Susser)

Jimbo is 13 and can think of only one girl -- Sarah Jane. And no matter what stands in his way -- bullies, violence, chaos, or zombies -- nothing will stop him from finding a way into her world.

Day 2: Saturday, January 19
Pariah (Director: Dee Rees)

A Bronx lesbian teenager juggles multiple identities to avoid rejection from friends and family, but pressures from home, school, and within corrode the line between her dual personas with an explosive consequence.

Day 3: Sunday, January 20
Yours Truly (Osbert Parker)

Animation and live action collide in the story of Frank and Charlie, a dark romance of psychological tension that unfolds as the two sacrifice their morals surrounding the ultimate kiss off letter.

Day 4: Monday, January 21
My Olympic Summer (Director: Daniel Robin)

After his marriage fails, the filmmaker looks at home video footage of his parents when they were young in hopes to understand how they kept the magic. This film is set against the historical backdrop of the hostage crisis at the Munich Olympic games of 1972.

Day 5: Tuesday, January 22
Sick Sex (Director: Justin Nowell)
Amanda has a fever. Ken is horny.

Day 6: Wednesday, January 23

Because Washington is Hollywood For Ugly People (Director: Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung)

Employing images from popular culture, political figures and Internet imagery, this piece adopts viral advertising in a reduction of contemporary events to a cartoon-like mythology while touching on issues such as identity politics, US Foreign policy, sexuality and power.

Day 7: Thursday, January 24
Force 1 TD (Director: Randy Krallman)

Three friends, one of whom is visually impaired and has a miniature guide horse named Carmine, set off to find Carmine a very special pair of sneakers for a very special occasion.

Day 8: Friday, January 25
Wind, Ten Years Old (Director: Marzieh Vafamehr)

A day in the life of a 10-year-old Iranian girl highlights the Iran-Iraq war and the national/educational propaganda that informs the tumult, fear, infatuation, and mindset of a generation.

Day 9: Saturday, January 26

Sikumi (On the Ice) (Director: Andrew Okpeaha MacLean) An Inuit hunter takes his dog team out on the frozen Arctic Ocean in search of seals, and inadvertently becomes a witness to a murder.

Day 10, Sunday, January 27
Spider (Director: Nash Edgerton)
It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

Films Available on the iTunes Store, Netflix, and Xbox 360:

Sundance Institute is helping to build audiences for short films through partnerships with Apple's iTunes Movie Store, Xbox LIVE, the online entertainment network for Microsoft's Xbox 360, and the Netflix member Web site. Starting January 18, 2008 through 2011, audiences can own and watch 45 of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival short films at the iTunes Store, Netflix or Xbox 360.

Sundance Film Festival Short Films will be priced at $1.99 each with being the primary download-to-own platform for viewing on an iPhone, iPod, Mac, PC or widescreen TV with Apple TV. Also available on the iTunes Store are free podcasts that go behind the scenes of the Sundance Film Festival, including panels with filmmakers, journalists and industry leaders and live music performances straight from Park City.

Netflix is making the Sundance shorts available to its subscribers at no additional fee through its instant watching feature, which offers thousands of films and TV episodes to be viewed instantly on PCs.

Xbox 360 will offer yet another $1.99 download-to-own platform through Xbox LIVE. Xbox LIVE is the leading provider of high definition on demand content, offering movies for video on demand and TV shows and music videos for download-to-own. More information about content being offered on Xbox LIVE is available at

Maintaining its core mission of supporting filmmakers, Sundance Institute has partnered with industry leader and digital distribution company Mediastile, Inc. to provide ongoing digital distribution and encoding services to the 2008 Filmmakers. As the Official Digital Clearinghouse of the Sundance Film Festival, Mediastile provides a digital on-ramp to content retailers for filmmakers around the world.

Films Available:

THE APOLOGY LINE/ United Kingdom (Director: James Lees) -- Based on the creation of a real-life 'apology line' where members of the public anonymously confess to absolutely anything over the telephone.

AUGUST 15/ China (Director: Xuan Jiang) -- Based on a real life event, a young Chinese woman boards a bus with her boyfriend to head home to meet his parents. What was supposed to be a joyful holiday turns unpredictable when a pair of countryside crooks hijack their bus. Traveling through China's dangerous mountain passes, the passengers must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice for their own safety.

BECAUSE WASHINGTON IS HOLLYWOOD FOR UGLY PEOPLE (Director: Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung) -- Employing images from popular culture, political figures and Internet imagery, this piece adopts viral advertising in a reduction of contemporary events to a cartoon-like mythology while touching on issues such as identity politics, US Foreign policy, sexuality and power.

BUYO/ Italy (Director: Andrea Fasciani) -- In this post-modern tale, Ralph is a guy whose voice only generates weird sounds, and Anna is deaf. One day they meet in the elevator. Ralph's unusual voice makes Anna's body vibrate, prompting Anna's affections and her desire to follow him everywhere.

BY MODERN MEASURE (Director: Matthew Lessner) -- As part of an ongoing, unaired TV series, an amateur French sociologist presents his observations on a day in the life of two young Americans who meet by chance outside a Taco Bell on October 8, 2006.

CHERRIES/ United Kingdom (Director: Tom Harper; Screenwriter: Fiona Kissane) -- A class of teenage schoolboys are oblivious to their teacher's attempts to question them about the wider world. They are about to get a lesson they will never that will change their lives forever.

CHONTO (Director: Carson Mell) -- Wilted rock idol Bobby Bird literally tries to buy a friend when he adopts a monkey from a zoo in South America.

CROSSBOW/ Australia (Director: David Michod) -- A kid. His Mum and Dad. The sex and drugs. And the boy next door who watched the whole thing unravel.

THE DEEP (Director: Alex Haworth) -- A journey unravels through the thoughts of a solitary character in the heart of a future dystopia. As he journeys deep underground, he tends to the machines that fuel the surface city. His jobs are precise, almost compulsive, and he is unable to stop.

DOG LOVERS (Director: Danny Roew, Screenwriters: Tonya Cornelisse, Graham Sibley) -- Two potential lovers meet to talk about their affection for dogs.

DUGONG/ Australia (Director: Erin White) -- In an effort to repair the past, a loner returns home with his dog on the day of his brother's wedding, but learns that in order to make amends he must leave a piece of himself behind.

THE EXECUTION OF SOLOMON HARRIS (Directors: Wyatt Garfield, Ed Yonaitis; Screenwriter: Ed Yonaitis) -- An electric chair execution fails, delivering a non-lethal jolt of electricity that leaves the prisoner screaming in pain. Protocol and routine fail to provide a resolution, and the warden has to cope with the human dilemma that falls into his hands.

FAREWELL PACKETS OF TEN/ Ireland (Director: Ken Wardrop) -- Two ladies discuss the pros and cons of their mutual addiction to cigarettes.

FCU: FACT CHECKERS UNIT (Director: Dan Beers; Screenwriters: Dan Beers, Peter Karinen, Brian Sacca) -- After being assigned to check a bizarre fact about Bill Murray's love for drinking milk, two magazine fact checkers break into Bill's house to spy on him. Cast: Bill Murray

THE FUNERAL/ Canada (Director: Sara St. Onge) -- A dark comedy about a young woman in her early thirties becomes aware of her own mortality and reacts by meticulously planning her own funeral. Possibly due to a lack of other big days in her life so far, such as a wedding, this becomes her moment to shine.

GAS ZAPPERS (Director: Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung) -- A short animation about climate change, where an ironically over-appropriated and fuzzy polar bear, abruptly finds itself in a position to save its home.

THE HISTORY OF AMERICA (Director: MK12) -- A psychedelic western space opera.

I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE/ Canada (Director: Cam Christiansen; Screenwriter: Kris Demeanor) -- A suburban boy competes in a tennis match with his father in the suburbs of Calgary when three young men approach and start to rudely accost them.

I LOVE SARAH JANE/ Australia (Director: Spencer Susser) -- Jimbo is 13 and can think of only one girl-Sarah Jane. And no matter what stands in his way -- bullies, violence, chaos, or zombies-nothing will stop him from finding a way into her world.

IGNITE (Director: Shawn Bannon) -- The 2007 fires of Griffith Park. Shot with seven time-lapse cameras. An experimental perspective that is beautiful, eerie, and captivating.

LLOYD NECK (Director: Benedict Campbell) -- Alex has a crush on her brother's friend, Jesse. But Jesse likes Alex's brother, Taylor. Alex knows something is up with her brother. Caught in an awkward position, Taylor takes Alex and Jesse to his favorite spot.

THE LOSS OF A WRESTLING MATCH (Director: Jed Cowley) -- So far in the season, Don has a 9-0 record. He is perfect, but in the upcoming duel he has to wrestle a higher-ranked opponent.

MADAME TUTLI-PUTLI/ Canada (Directors: Chris Lavis, Maciek Szczerbowski) - - Madame Tutli-Putli boards the night train, weighed down with all her earthly possessions and the ghosts of her past. As day descends into dark, she finds herself caught up in a desperate metaphysical adventure adrift between real and imagined worlds.

MAN (Director: Myna Joseph) -- Maggie and her sister form an unusual bond during an encounter with a young man.

THE MARK (Director: Thomas Barndt) -- A lawyer rents a room to a human lightning bolt.

MOTION STUDIES: INERTIA (Director: Jake Mahaffy) -- This film documents a motion study of a man running as hard and as long as he can in a full suit of smithied High Middle Age armor.

NIKAMOWIN (SONG)/ Canada (Director: Kevin Lee Burton) -- Deconstructing and reconstructing Cree narrative, this film experiments with language to create a linguistic soundscape.

NUMBER ONE (Director: Leighton Pierce) -- Water imagery engages the experience of elasticity between varying states of mind.

OIRAN LYRICS/ Japan (Director: Ryosuke Ogawa) -- A historical musical about the glamorous yet plaintive life of Kiyomi, a beautiful oiran or high- class Japanese courtesan.

ON THE ASSASSINATION OF THE PRESIDENT (Director: Adam Keker) -- A top- secret government file, only to be viewed in the event of the President's death by assassination, gives specific instructions on what should be done, and presents dossiers on the three most likely suspects.

PARADISE/ France (Director: Yi Zhou) -- A lyrical look at an imaginary paradise based on black and white nature and insects -- with no humans, no souls in the landscape. Based on "The Divine Comedy" by Dante.

PARIAH (Director: Dee Rees) -- A Bronx lesbian teenager juggles multiple identities to avoid rejection from friends and family, but pressures from home, school, and within corrode the line between her dual personas with an explosive consequence.

PLEASE STAND BACK! (zurrueckbleiben bitte)/ Austria (Directors: stadtmusik) -- The directorial collective, stadtmusik, deals with sounds in cities by analyzing sound structures that are triggered by urban buildings and facilities. They focus on the aspect of movement in the city, reinforcing a dynamic experience of the urban soundscape.

THE RAMBLER (Director: Calvin Reeder) -- A stranger takes to the lonely highway with his guitar and traveling sack.

A RELATIONSHIP IN FOUR DAYS (Director: Peter Glanz) -- Coming from a wealthy family, Paul recently turned 30 and has never had, or needed a real job. Lost in his own imagination, he often preaches his grand ideas, but in reality never does much...until he meets Sabine.

SCORING/ Ireland (Director: Ken Wardrop) -- A young man explains the true power of a kiss.

THE SECOND LINE (Director: John Magary) -- After MacArthur's savings are stolen from his FEMA trailer, he and his cousin Natt take work gutting a house.

SICK SEX (Director: Justin Nowell) -- Amanda has a fever. Ken is horny.

SMILE/ Canada (Director: Julia Kwan) -- A subtle look at the fractures that bond a Chinese immigrant family on the day they use their cut-out Sears coupon for a free family portrait.

SOFT/ United Kingdom (Director: Simon Ellis) -- A father rediscovers his fear of confrontation at the worst possible time.

THE SOUND OF PEOPLE/ Ireland (Director: Simon Fitzmaurice) -- An 18-year- old boy stands in a moment on the brink of death.

SPIDER/ Australia (Director: Nash Edgerton) -- It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.

TEAT BEAT OF SEX (Director: Signe Baumane) -- A take on sex exclusively from a woman's point of view.

UNTITLED #1 (from the series EARTH PEOPLE 2507) (Director: Nao Bustamante) -- An enchanting meditation on an ancient species from the future using found footage, cell phone video, and crude chroma key effects to create a coherent and petite spell. The rendition of buffalos made from a "herd" of toy poodles tweaks at our understanding of the symbolic world.

WIND, TEN YEARS OLD (BAAD, DAH SALEH)/ Iran (Director: M. Mehr) -- A day in the life of a 10-year-old Iranian girl highlights the Iran-Iraq war and the national/educational propaganda that informs the tumult, fear, infatuation, and mindset of a generation.

2008 Sundance Film Festival Sponsors

The 2008 Sundance Film Festival sponsors help sustain Sundance Institute's year-round programs to support independent artists, inspire risk-taking, and encourage diversity in the arts. This year's Festival Sponsors include: Presenting Sponsors -- Entertainment Weekly, Volkswagen of America, Inc., HP, and Adobe Systems Incorporated; Leadership Sponsors -- American Express, Delta Air Lines, DIRECTV, and Microsoft Corporation; Sustaining Sponsors -- 360 Vodka, Blockbuster Inc., L'Oreal Paris, The New York Times, Ray-Ban, Sony Electronics, Inc., Stella Artois(R), Turning Leaf Vineyards, Utah Film Commission, and ZonePerfect(R) Nutrition Bars. Sundance Channel is the Official Television Network of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Film Festival is the premier showcase for U.S. and international independent film. Held each January in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah, the Festival is a core program of Sundance Institute, a nonprofit cultural organization founded by Robert Redford in 1981.

Presenting dramatic and documentary feature-length films in nine distinct categories and approximately 80 short films each year, the Sundance Film Festival has introduced American audiences to some of the most innovative films of the past two decades. Since 1984, the Festival program has evolved to include music, art, and dialogue. Beyond the streets of Park City, the official website of the Sundance Film Festival, shares the Festival experience with a global audience with short films, filmmaker interviews, video episodes, podcasts, photos, news stories, and more.

Sundance Institute

Dedicated year-round to the development of artists of independent vision and to the exhibition of their new work, Sundance Institute celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2006. Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, the Institute has grown into an internationally recognized resource for thousands of independent artists through its Film Festival and artistic development programs for filmmakers, screenwriters, composers, playwrights, and theatre artists. The original values of independence, creative risk-taking, and discovery continue to define and guide the work of Sundance Institute, both with U.S. artists and, increasingly, with artists from other regions of the world.

Sundance Channel

Under the creative direction of Robert Redford, Sundance Channel is the television destination for independent-minded viewers seeking something different. Bold, uncompromising and irreverent, Sundance Channel offers audiences a diverse and engaging selection of films, documentaries, and original programs, all unedited and commercial free. Launched in 1996, Sundance Channel is a venture of NBC Universal, CBS, and Robert Redford.

Sundance Channel operates independently of the non-profit Sundance Institute and the Sundance Film Festival, but shares the overall Sundance mission of encouraging artistic freedom of expression. Sundance Channel's website address is


Mediastile is a new breed of distributor for the digital age. Mediastile is focused on enabling studios, home video companies, and filmmakers alike to distribute their movies to digital outlets such as iTunes, Xbox 360, Netflix, and many more. Mediastile is on the cutting edge of digital distribution, and with its relationship with the Sundance Film Festival, it continues to help independent filmmakers realize their vision and reach new audiences around the world.

Mediastile provides mass digital distribution of media content. Now, filmmakers can turn their focus towards the creative issues and avoid the hassles involved with independent distribution in the digital age. For more information, please go to

NOTE TO EDITORS: For images, please visit:; Login
ID: press; password: SFF08! .
First Call Analyst:
FCMN Contact:

Source: Sundance Institute; Sundance Channel; Sundance Film Festival

CONTACT: Emily Brunt, +1-435-658-3456,, or Amy
McGee, +1-310-492-2333,, both of Sundance

Web site:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

New Line Cinema's 'The Golden Compass' Passes $300 Million at Worldwide Box Office

15 Jan 2008 17:30 Africa/Lagos

New Line Cinema's 'The Golden Compass' Passes $300 Million at Worldwide Box Office

Fantasy Epic To Open in Japan March 1

NEW YORK, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire/ --

New Line Cinema's "The Golden Compass", starring Oscar-winner Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, crossed the $300 million mark at the worldwide box office and now has a cumulative gross of more than $315 million. The film has earned more than $67 million in the United States since its Dec. 7 opening.

The fantasy epic has performed strongly in various foreign territories -- including the United Kingdom, Spain, South Korea and Australia -- where this genre continues to be popular. On March 1, "The Golden Compass" will open in its last major territory -- Japan.

"'The Golden Compass' has immense global appeal," said Rolf Mittweg, President and Chief Operating Officer of Worldwide Distribution and Marketing at New Line Cinema. "The box office revenue has been nothing less than astonishing overseas. With the forthcoming premiere in Japan, we can expect a significant boost to our worldwide box office."

Based on author Philip Pullman's bestselling and award-winning novel, "The Golden Compass" tells the first story in Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. The fantasy adventure is written and directed by Chris Weitz, and features an all-star cast of Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Sam Elliott, Eva Green and Dakota Blue Richards.

About New Line Cinema Corporation:

New Line Cinema is the most successful independent film company in the world. Its mission is to produce innovative, popular and profitable entertainment in the best creative environment. In addition to the production, marketing and distribution of theatrical motion pictures, the fully-integrated studio has divisions devoted to home entertainment, television, music, theater, merchandising and an international unit. In 2005, New Line partnered with HBO to form Picturehouse, a new theatrical distribution company to release independent films. A pioneer in franchise filmmaking, New Line's Oscar-winning The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the most successful film franchises in history. New Line is a division of Time Warner, Inc. (TWX).

Candice McDonough (LA) Tracy Lorie (International)
(310) 967-6991 (310) 967-6424

Kerri Chyka (NY)
(212) 649-6189

Source: New Line Cinema Corporation

CONTACT: Candice McDonough, [LA], +1-310-967-6991,, Tracy Lorie, [International], +1-310-967-6424,, or Kerri Chyka, [NY], +1-212-649-6189,, all of New Line Cinema Corporation