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International Newswire: Russian Basketball Movie ‘Three Seconds’ Crowned Box-Office Champ

In today’s International Newswire, Russia crowns basketball movie as box-office champ, newly restored print of Wim Wenders’ “Wings of Desire” to be premiered at Berlinale, Czech Film Fund launches script program, and funeral arrangements are made for rock promoter, producer and manager Tony Calder.

Russian cinema has a new box-office champ. “Three Seconds,” which centers on the victory of the Soviet basketball team at the 1972 Munich Olympics, when the U.S. team was defeated for the first time in 36 years, is towering over the local charts with a gross of $33.4 million after just three weeks.

Anton Megerdichev’s film has edged past comedy fantasy film “The Last Warrior,” which was last year’s local hero in Russia, and is still in movie theaters with a gross so far of $30.4 million. Fedor Bondarchuk’s 2013 World War II actioner “Stalingrad” remains the Russian movie to beat with a $52 million gross.

“Three Seconds,” which is also known as “Going Vertical,” is produced by Three T Productions, the company behind another local hit, “Crew,” and is being sold internationally by Central Partnership.

A new digitally restored version of Wim Wenders’ 1987 film “Wings of Desire,” starring Bruno Ganz and Peter Falk, will be one of seven restored prints to make their world premieres as part of the Berlinale Classics section of next month’s Berlin Intl. Film Festival. Studiocanal will be releasing it in German cinemas in the near future.

Also playing in the Berlinale Classics section will be Sidney Lumet’s thriller “Fail Safe” (1964), Soviet director Mikhail Kalatozov’s “The Cranes Are Flying (1957), “My 20th Century” (1989), the feature debut of last year’s Berlinale winner Ildikó Enyedi, Israeli filmmaker Assi Dayan’s “Life According to Agfa” (1992), and Yasujiro Ozu’s “Tokyo Twilight” (1957) from Japan.

The section will open on Feb. 16 in the Friedrichstadt-Palast with the 1923 silent film “The Ancient Law,” directed by E.A. Dupont.

The Czech Film Fund has launched an ambitious new script consulting program for the domestic film industry. Organized in cooperation with Prague-based Midpoint, the international training platform for film and TV development in Central and Eastern Europe, the Script Consulting Incubator aims to heighten the quality of feature film scripts and support a new generation of Czech script consultants.

“Collaboration between screenwriter and script consultant can inspire and boost the creativity of the screenwriter, stimulating the creative process in astonishingly unexpected ways,” said Hungarian filmmaker Gyula Gazdag, artistic director of the Sundance Directors Lab and the Incubator’s recently appointed head of studies.

The family of late rock promoter, producer and manager Tony Calder, who worked with music acts such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Black Sabbath and Eddy Grant, has set his funeral for Jan. 22 in Richmond, South-West London. (Variety reported on his death earlier this month.)

A fundraising effort has been launched that will benefit Chelsea and Westminster Hospital Charity Foundation, which cared for dementia sufferer Calder for the past 10 years, as well as contribute toward funeral costs. Details at this link.

According to the site, “Like many of his peers Tony lived life for today, and never thought about tomorrow. Like a lot of people in the entertainment industry he lived by the proverbial rock and roll sword (and died by it) thus he left life with baggage and nothing to pay for it. He had a great heart that touched many people, which is what the great music he created is about: Heart.”

The dress code for the funeral, it states, is “stylish, sexy and cool — How T.C. would have liked it.”

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