Hurt to star in 'Murders'

COLOGNE — John Hurt will take the lead role in “The Oxford Murders,” an adaptation of Guillermo Martinez’s thriller novel by helmer Alex de la Iglesia (“The Perfect Crime”). The Spanish-French-British production has received E600,000 ($770,000) from European film funding body Eurimages.

Similar amounts from Eurimages were awarded to animated children’s pics from Germany and Finland, “Ein fall fur freunde” and “The Way to the Stars,” respectively.

Eurimages in its October session awarded $5.6 million to an array of 14 projects.

Also funded were a documentary about post-war Poland by Andrzej Wajda, “Post Mortem,” and a tragicomedy helmed by Uberto Pasolini (producer of “The Full Monty”) titled “No F’ing Handball,” based on the true case of a group of illegal immigrants from Sri Lanka cheating their way through a handball tournament in Germany.

October’s award session handed coin to other thrillers besides “The Oxford Murders,” including “Les Sapins bleus” by Romuald Beugnon; Czech-Slovak claustrophobic chiller “Oko,” by Milos J. Kohout; and Swiss-Italian-Hungarian production “Le Valli della paura,” an adaptation of mystery stories narrated by children.

Also on Eurimages’ list are Mira Fornayova’s Slovak-Irish social drama “Listicky”; Scandinavian production “Underbar och alskad av alla” by Hannes Holm; Srdjan Vuletic’s “It’s Hard to Be Nice,” from Bosnia; Abbas Fahdel’s “L’Aube du monde”; Othmar Schmiederer’s docu “Back to Africa”; and Semih Kaplanoglu’s “Yumurta” (“Egg”), part of his Turkish “Milk/Honey/Egg” trilogy.

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