Archive for October, 2008

Niko Wins Double

30th October 2008

Filmbase reports that the animated feature film Niko & the Way to the Stars won both the Jury and Audience awards at Cinekid, the children’s film festival in Amsterdam last weekend. It’s the first time in the festival’s history that a film has won both prizes.

Ireland-based Marteinn Thorisson co-wrote the script with Hannu Tuomainen, and it was directed by Michael Hegner and Kari Juusonen. The film was co-produced by Finnish film company Anima Vitae, Ulysses Films in Germany (daughter company of Galway-based Magma) and Afilm in Denmark.

Speaking on the win Moe Honan producer with Magma Films says: “We are delighted with these prestigious awards and doubly happy that the film has not only impressed the main jury at Cinekid so much, but has also reached out to our main audience – the children, who also voted it as their favourite. It’s a must see film this Christmas.”

The film has been sold to more than 100 territories, with The Weinstein Company handling the English-language rights.

“Niko is currently on release in Finland and enjoying the highest audience figures ever for a children’s movie after its second week. Altogether it has sold to over 120 countries and the Weinstein Company has bought the film for the US market and Pan Latin America,” explains Ralph Christians, executive producer with Magma.

The film tells the story of a boy reindeer who longs to fly, and dreams of meeting his father who is a celebrity member of the famous Santa’s Flying Forces. He is accompanied on his adventures by his friend Julius, a flying squirrel, and Wilma a singing weasel whom they meet along the way.

The Film will arrive to Irish cinema screens on November 28th.

FSTI Bursary Awards

30th October 2008

Screenwriters should note that the FÁS Screen Training Ireland Bursary Award Scheme has funds available for industry practitioners who wish to undergo training overseas, or need funding for customised work programmes.

The scheme may also be in a position to support individuals who have secured an agreement with a high profile industry expert for the purpose of shadowing/mentoring.

We would encourage applicants to apply for programmes which would be beneficial to their career development.

Screen Training Ireland has supported Irish Industry Professionals through the Bursary Award Scheme to attend programmes such as Moonstone, North by Northwest, Arista, Showrunneres etc.

Applications can be made via the web site.

Son of Pitch Extended

30th October 2008

The UK’s Screenwriting Festival has extended the deadline for its Son of a Pitch competition (which it is running in association with 4Talent) to 17.00 on Friday 14th November 2008.

Ten lucky finalists will be chosen to come to the SWF’09 (for free), where they will receive a crash course in the art of pitching courtesy of agent Julian Friedmann. After this, each of the ten finalists will take to the main stage and ‘wow’ the festival delegates – and a panel of terribly serious dragon-like judges who will proceed to quiz you on the strengths and weaknesses of your idea. Simple as that. Of the ten… three will win (1st, 2nd and 3rd place). There are prizes but the real prize is the exposure that this event bestows on all ten of its pitchers. Exposure that can lead to… who knows where.

Google Book Search Expands

29th October 2008

Market Watch reports that the Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and Google have come to a settlement agreement regarding online access to millions of in-copyright books, and other written materials, in major U.S. libraries participating in Google Book Search.

The agreement, reached after two years of negotiations, would resolve a class-action lawsuit brought by book authors and the Authors Guild, as well as a separate lawsuit filed by five large publishers as representatives of the AAP’s membership. The class action is subject to approval by the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The agreement promises to benefit readers and researchers, and enhance the ability of authors and publishers to distribute their content in digital form, by significantly expanding online access to works through Google Book Search, an ambitious effort to make millions of books searchable via the Web. The agreement acknowledges the rights and interests of copyright owners, provides an efficient means for them to control how their intellectual property is accessed online and enables them to receive compensation for online access to their works.

Adapting Work

29th October 2008


FÁS Screen Training Ireland is running a course on Adaptation in the Radisson Hotel, Golden Lane, Dublin 8, from 12 — 16 December.

Participant Profile:
This course is designed for professional screenwriters and development executives working in the Irish film and television industry. Participants ideally should have an adaptation project currently in development.

Course Profile:
The purpose of this course is to explore the process of adapting pre-existing material to the screen. Writers will analyze how a variety of source material: novel, stage play, short story, magazine article, graphic novel and history, can transform into a successful cinema story. We will have group discussions to identify the challenges posed by each source. Writers will also explore the process by conceptualizing adaptations of pre-assigned short stories and discussing the results. Combining the creative and analytic will give students a deeper understanding of what it means to adapt stories from one medium to another. The course will explore the following:

  • Where stories come from
  • Conceptualisation
  • Comparative adaptation exercises
  • Adaptations from novels (case study: Remains of the Day)
  • Adaptations from plays (case study: Taming of the Shrew)
  • Adaptations from history/articles (case study: Saving Private Ryan)
  • Adaptations from short stories (case study: Rear Window)
  • Adaptations from comics/graphic novels (case study: American Splendor)

The tutor is L.A.-based writer and story analyst Beth Serlin, and the course costs €350. Applications can be made online, and the deadline is the 7th November 2008.