×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Cinema Expo closes with splash

Bonanza fetes Cecchi Gori's career

AMSTERDAM — Euro-focused exhibition confab Cinema Expo ’98 came to a roaring close Thursday with a splashy awards show, replete with entertainment by Irish troupe Riverdance and several other surprise guests.

The seventh annual cinema bonanza, known for its copious award-giving, brought out former winners and notable industryites to honor this year’s recipients.

Saul Zaentz presented fellow producer Brian Grazer with the Albert R. Broccoli Award of Excellence. Helmer Jim Sheridan passed kudos to UIP Intl. marketing chief Nadia Bronson.

Cecchi Gori honored

Lifetime Achievement recipient Vittorio Cecchi Gori was feted by Variety’s international publishing director Peter Cowie. Distributor of the Year Duncan Clark was hauled on stage by Warner Bros. Theaters chief Millard Ochs.

Other awards went to Exhibitor of the Year Klas Olofsson, of Nordic outfit Sandrews-Metronome, and Italo director Roberto Benigni for Excellence in Comedy.

Benigni’s Cannes Special Jury Prize-winning “Life is Beautiful,” a Cecchi Gori production, also screened during the Expo, courtesy of Miramax.

Upon receiving his Lifetime Achievement accolade, Cecchi Gori summed up his brief English speech with “Thank you, la vita e bella (life is beautiful)!”

Earlier Thursday, Centropolis’ Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich slid into the “Godzilla” screening to greet Expo attendees and receive previously unannounced awards for Excellence in Filmmaking.

Expo gets kudos

Organizers Robert and Jimmy Sunshine called this year’s event by far their most successful, with registrations up 20% to nearly 1,200 and booth rentals approaching 250 over last year’s 180. Almost every European country was represented at the RAI Congress Center this week and some attendees hailed from as far afield as Australia and South Africa.

Much of the credit for the Expo’s hit run this year goes to the selection of screenings, Robert Sunshine said.

But spin was particularly wound around the showing of a working print of actioner “Armageddon,” from which the press was barred.

BVI was treading carefully after last month’s unveiling of a 50-minute version of the film at the Cannes Film Festival, where it suffered much critical ink. But the more completed print shown Wednesday had delegates predicting the film’s commercial appeal and effects should lure international auds.

Most every major trotted out product reels and their most promising software over the four-day event, including BVI’s “Mulan,” Fox’s “Something About Mary” and “The X-Files,” Columbia TriStar’s “The Mask of Zorro,” “Miramax’s “The Mighty” and UIP/Universal’s “Out of Sight.”

The one glaring exception to the lineup was product from Warner Bros. Intl. Distribution.

More Film

  • Most Memorable Oscar Speeches in Academy

    The Most Memorable Oscar Speeches in Academy History (Watch)

    No Academy Awards is complete without some emotional acceptance speeches on stage – and some political ones to boot. With just 90 seconds to make an impact, many actors have used the platform as a voice for political change, calling attention to hot-button issues like climate change and gender equality, while others have simply reveled [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Arrested, in Custody of Chicago Police

    Jussie Smollett has been arrested and faces criminal charges for allegedly filing a false police report and for disorderly conduct. Chicago police tweeted Thursday morning that the “Empire” actor was under arrest and in custody of detectives. Smollett claimed that he had been attacked by two men on Jan. 29 — he said they beat [...]

  • Billie Holiday (1915-1959, born Eleanora Fagan)

    Billie Holiday Documentary Draws Buyers as Concord Boards Project

    Concord, the successor to the Billie Holiday Estate, has boarded James Erskine’s documentary “Billie,” which tracks the iconic jazz singer’s life. Altitude Film Sales has sold the project to several territories. Also joining the project, now in post-production, is the Brazilian colorization artist Marina Amaral. Most of the filmed and still images that exist of [...]

  • My Extraordinary Summer With Tess review

    Film Review: 'My Extraordinary Summer With Tess'

    Winner of a special mention from the Berlinale Generation KPlus’ adult jury, the family-friendly, light drama “My Extraordinary Summer With Tess” is straightforward youth cinema with surprising emotional depth. Based on a prize-winning novel by Anna Woltz, a beloved Dutch writer of work for young readers, it explores family relationships and emphasizes the importance of [...]

  • UCLA Hollywood Diversity Report: Women, Minorities

    Hollywood Diversity Gains in TV but Falls Short in Movies

    Minorities and women have registered gains in several key areas of television but women continue to lag in movies, according to a report issued Thursday by the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA. “My basic take is that TV is improving more for minorities and women than film,” said Dr. Darnell [...]

  • Ghost Fleet review

    Film Review: 'Ghost Fleet'

    The revelatory documentary “Ghost Fleet” condemns the modern-day slave labor fueling the Thai fishing industry while focusing on the work of Bangkok-based advocacy organization Labor Rights Promotion Network Foundation (LPN), a group dedicated to ending slavery at sea. Combining chilling testimony from formerly enslaved men, some wincingly arty recreations of their ordeals, and on-the-ground footage [...]

  • WGA West Logo

    WGA Plans March 25 Member Vote on Talent Agency Rules

    Leaders of the Writers Guild of America plan a March 25 vote for members to decide whether to implement tough new restrictions on how Hollywood talent agencies as operate as agents for writer clients. The vote comes as the guild is in the midst of pitched negotiations with the Association of Talent Agents to renew [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content