week in review digest
Empty'Labyrinth' logs 12 Ariel noms
MEXICO CITY — Guillermo del Toro's dark fantasy "Pan's Labyrinth" garnered a whopping 12 nominations Wednesday for the 49th Ariel Awards, Mexico's top film prize (HR 2/22). "Labyrinth," co-produced by Mexico's Tequila Gang and Spain's Estudios Picasso, picked up noms for best picture, director, cinematography and actress (Maribel Verdu). The film won best foreign picture at the recent BAFTA awards, took home seven of Spain's Goya statuettes and won three Oscars on Sunday. "Labyrinth" will go up against Sebastian Cordero's thriller "Chronicles," a film produced by del Toro and Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron. Also in the running is Francisco Vargas' debut feature "The Violin," a black-and-white drama that has been well received on the festival circuit. Cordero and Vargas also grabbed noms for best director.
Cesars love 'Lady Chatterley'
PARIS — Luck was a lady Saturday night as Pascale Ferran's "Lady Chatterley" won the prize for best film in a tight race at the 32nd annual Cesar Awards, France's top film honors (HR 2/26). The adaptation of D.H. Lawrence's steamy novel beat out Guillaume Canet's thriller "Tell No One" and Rachid Bouchareb's World War II drama "Days of Glory." All three were nominated for nine awards. "Chatterley" took home four other honors, including adaptation, costumes and cinematography. Pedro Almodovar presented the award for best actress to Marina Hands for her title role in "Chatterley." Francois Cluzet won the best actor prize for his lead role in "No One." Canet picked up the best director award for the film, which also landed honors for music and editing. "Glory" scored only one Cesar for original screenplay, despite its nine nominations.
FrameFlow in Sony's Imageworks fold
NEW DELHI — Sony Pictures Imageworks has acquired a 50.1% equity stake in Indian visual effects and animation studio FrameFlow, based in Chennai, South India (HR 2/22). The company will now be called Imageworks India. Reports indicate that SPI acquired the stake for $5 million, but that figure was not confirmed. Founded in 2003 as FrameFlow Llc., based in Atlanta and Los Angeles, the company delivers visual effects and animation services with a state-of-the-art production operation in Chennai and has worked with Sony Pictures Imageworks' Culver City facility on various projects such as "Click," "Ghost Rider" and the upcoming "Spider-Man 3."
Cowan, Wheeldon set up U.K.'s TFD
LONDON — Executives Paul Cowan and Chris Wheeldon said they have united to form U.K. production banner Territorial Film Developments (HR 2/21). TFD aims to finance and produce "at least three in-house, low-budget movies per year in the horror-thriller and comedy genres," the parties said. Its debut movie, tentatively titled "Black Water," was being presold at the European Film Market earlier this month. Cowan (associate producer on "The Crying Game") and Wheeldon (location manager on "GoldenEye" and "Princess Caraboo") stress that the company is not simply a tax fund, indicating that TFD is a production company first and investment vehicle second.