news digest


'Poor Boy' makes good at AFF

TORONTO — Boxing drama "Poor Boy's Game," starring Danny Glover, was the big winner at the Atlantic Film Festival. Clement Virgo's latest film, shot last year in Halifax, won trophies for best Atlantic Canadian movie and original screenplay for Virgo and Chaz Thorne as the festival handed out trophies Friday. Bill Fleming picked up the art direction prize for his work on the film, which bowed in Berlin. Halifax-based Thorne also picked up the festival's best director trophy for his debut feature, "Just Buried." Bruce McDonald grabbed the best Canadian feature prize for "The Tracey Fragments," while the film's Ellen Page took home the best actress trophy. Roy Dupuis ("Shake Hands With the Devil") was named best actor.

Italian cast picked for Lee's WWII drama

ROME — The production team behind Spike Lee's wartime drama "Miracle at St. Anna" on Friday announced the Italian-language cast for the film and said that work on the project will begin Oct. 15. The film, which will be shot mostly on location in Tuscany, tells the story of a group of black U.S. soldiers who get involved in a Tuscan village's efforts to weed out a traitor. According to producers Luigi Musini and Roberto Cicutto, the Italian-language cast will include Pierfrancesco Favino ("Romanzo Criminale"), Omero Antonutti ("La Ragazza del Lago"), Valentina Cervi ("War and Peace"), Lydia Biondi (HBO-BBC's "Rome") and Italian TV actor Sergio Albelli.

Paramount: It's 'Magique!'

PARIS — Paramount has picked the first title to be produced under its Paramount Pictures France label, the musical comedy "Magique!" The film, directed by Philippe Muyl and starring Marie Gillain, Antoine Dulery and singer Cali, will be the first of the three to five projects Paramount is planning to produce each year in Gaul. The €6.8 million ($9.6 million) film is being co-produced by Pan-Europeenne and Canada's Remstar, with Gallic pay TV network TPS Star contributing. Paramount has theatrical and DVD distribution rights in France, while Wild Bunch will handle international sales, including the U.S.

King crowns Vaines at GK Films

LONDON — Veteran U.K. movie executive Colin Vaines is leaving the Weinstein Co. to join Oscar winner Graham King's GK Films as co-president of production. The move, announced Friday, will see Vaines report to King and work alongside co-president of production Gail Lyon. Lyon will continue to spearhead development, preproduction and packaging of films, while Vaines will be charged with overseeing GK's film productions. Based in GK Films' Los Angeles office, Vaines starts in October.

Dini to animate 'Gatchaman' screenplay

HONG KONG — Paul Dini has been hired by Hong Kong's Imagi Animation Studio to work on the screenplay for the upcoming "Gatchaman," based on the 1970s animated Japanese TV series. Dini ("Lost") is the latest U.S. hire for the studio behind "TMNT," Imagi co-CEO and chief creative officer Francis Kao said Friday. In addition to his experience on numerous animated series, Dini is working on DC Comics' weekly series "Countdown."