news/reviews digest


Chungmuro looks to past for inspiration

SEOUL — The inaugural Chungmuro International Film Festival here will feature 150 movies from 32 countries and place special emphasis on Korean cinema history, organizers said Tuesday. Special sections scheduled for the Oct. 25-Nov. 2 event include sidebars on John Boorman, Australian film history, Hong Kong writer-director Patrick Tam, Japanese shorts from the 1920s and '30s and Korean classics from the 1940s to the '70s. In addition, CHIFF will feature concerts, outdoor screenings and other events. Festival director Kim Hong-joon and the district government plan for the festival to be a part of the redevelopment of the Chungmuro area, the traditional heart of Korea's film industry.

Peace Arch's Flock adds titles, duties

TORONTO — Peach Arch Entertainment president John Flock is adding the titles of COO and boardroom director. Toronto-based Peace Arch said Flock will retain the title of president as it continues to ramp up film and TV production and diversify into distribution. The veteran executive joined Peace Arch in May 2004 and most recently helped launch the company into direct theatrical and DVD distribution in the U.S market. Flock joins Jeff Sagansky in the boardroom; the former CBS Entertainment boss recently was named co-chairman of the Canadian producer (HR 9/11).

Korea taps 'Sunshine' for Oscar bid

SEOUL — "Secret Sunshine" will be Korea's entry into the foreign- language Oscar race, the Korea Film Council said Tuesday. Directed by Lee Chang-dong, "Sunshine" tells the story of a grieving widow who moves to a small town with her son, only to face further tragedy. The melodrama earned Jeon Do-yeon a best actress award at May's Festival de Cannes. The film council's panel of six judges cited the film's human story and Jeon's strong performance in making its choice. No Korean film has received one of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' five foreign-language nomination slots.

New moniker for Girard's shingle

TORONTO — Suzanne Girard's BBR Prods. has relaunched itself as DS Films. Girard, who launched BBR in 1981, will remain CEO and executive producer. The new company will be backed by parent DS Prods., which is led by Canadian actor Roc Lafortune, Quebec producer-director Sylvain Archambault and Alain Lemieux, president of the World Sports Alliance. Girard, whose recent credits include the Susan Sarandon starrer "Emotional Arithmetic," said DS Films plans to produce a slate of four to six English-language movies during the next three years with combined budgets of CAN$60 million ($56.5 million).

Berlusconi trial back on

ROME — The corruption trial for three-time prime minister and billionaire media mogul Silvio Berlusconi will restart Oct. 26, Milan magistrates said Tuesday. The trial, which began last year, already has been delayed six times and risks seeing some of the charges being thrown out because of statute of limitations rules if it extends deep into 2008. It is unclear whether Berlusconi will be in the courtroom to answer charges that he paid British lawyer David Mills to lie for him in court in relation to a previous case.