British ‘Kisses’ breaks Guinness World Record


Following up on February’s Valentine message, we are happy to report that 50 Kisses, the 100% crowd-sourced global collaboration that celebrated its world premiere at the Genesis Cinema in London, is now an official Guinness World Record holder for “having the most co-writers credited on a feature film.”

With 51 co-writers, 50 Kisses easily outdid the previous record held since 1943 by Forever and a Day, which had seven directors/producers and 21 writers, including an “uncredited” Alfred Hitchcock. Speaking of the latter, Hitchcock worked at the same place where the 50 Kisses office is located: Ealing Studios, which finds itself in the Guinness Book as “oldest working film studio.”

50 Kisses was organized by Chris Jones, filmmaker and creative director of London Screenwriters’ Festival, who said, “At every stage, 50 Kisses has innovated the way we make films—from script, to production, to distribution.” With a one-day gross of £9,435 (€11,420; US$15,640), “our theatrical release actually put the project into profit from the first screening by approaching the whole process in an entirely original way and with a new mindset.”

Watch all films and read screenplays at Keep in mind, however, that the end credits run for 17 minutes and list every film, actor and crew member—over 2,000 people.

Euro Film Awards Heading to Wroclaw
The European Film Academy (EFA) decided to hold the 2016 European Film Awards in Wroclaw, Poland. The announcement was made on April 1 (no fooling), on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Academy in Berlin and 640 days before Wroclaw would become European Capital of Culture in 2016. The city already hosts the T-Mobile New Horizons IFF (its 14th edition runs July 24 to August 3), and has been home to the Wroclaw Feature Film Studio since 1954.

“Legendary masterpieces of Polish cinematography were made here,” organizers noted about Ashes and Diamonds by Andrzej Wajda, The Saragossa Manuscript by Wojciech J. Has, Roman Polanski’s debut Knife in the Water and The Lonely Woman by Agnieszka Holland, who is the current chair of the EFA Board.

“We host the biggest film festival in Poland, we have the largest art-house cinema in Europe,” added Rafał Dutkiewicz, mayor of Wroclaw. Kino Nowe Horyzonty not only screens “the most outstanding masterpieces of world cinema,” but is also a place to “educate and have discussions about films,” he said. “Most of all, we have a very strong film community and remarkable audience, which is worth doing all we can to ensure that cinema still remains an important part of the city’s cultural and social life.”

The EFA also announced films from Denmark (The Contest), The Netherlands (Regret) and Germany (Windstorm) as competitors for the Young Audience Award 2014. On May 4, the three nominated titles will be screened to a audiences of 12 to 14-year-olds in 17 cities across Europe including Aalborg (Denmark), Barcelona (Spain), Belgrade (Serbia), Bratislava (Slovakia), Budapest (Hungary), Cluj-Napoca (Romania), Erfurt (Germany), Izola (Slovenia), London (U.K.), Prizren (Kosovo), Riga (Latvia), Sofia (Bulgaria), Stockholm (Sweden), Tbilisi (Georgia), Tel Aviv (Israel), Valletta (Malta) and Wroclaw, of course. All audience members are the jury and will vote for the winner right after the screenings and transmit the national results to Germany, where the Young Audience Award will be announced in a live-streaming ceremony on

Jameson Toasts Empire Awards
Also celebrating 25 years in the film arts, the U.K.’s Empire magazine bestowed very special awards on star guests Tom Cruise and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who received Empire’s Legend and Action Hero of Our Lifetime awards, respectively. Director Paul Greengrass collected the Empire Inspiration Award “for his work on the Bourne trilogy and recent commercial and critical success Captain Phillips.” Hugh Jackman also attended the 19th Jameson Empire Awards for his Empire Icon award (presented by Jameson Irish Whiskey), while Simon Pegg became this year’s Empire Hero and The World’s End scooped up Best British Film. Pegg joined the ranks of Daniel Radcliffe, Keira Knightley Jude Law and Michael Fassbender, who received Supporting Actor honors for 12 Years a Slave together with Sally Hawkins for Blue Jasmine. James McAvoy and Emma Thompson were singled out for their performances in Filth and Saving Mr. Banks.

The Jameson Empire Awards continue to recognize “the diverse tastes of cinemagoers, with awards dedicated to popular genres,” the organizers said. Those include the horror of The Conjuring, the thrill of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and best sci-fi/fantasy with The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which was presented by MediCinema. The Best Film overall went to Gravity, however, and Alfonso Cuarón triumphed as director.

Outselling all other movie magazines internationally (even Film Journal International) by an average of two to one, Empire is now the biggest movie brand in the world. With its editions in the U.S., Australia, Russia and Portugal as well as Empire Online’s global readership of 3.7 million, the brand’s reach extends to over five million. Cheers to that!

Kinoton Closes Doors
While certainly no reason to celebrate, we are nonetheless sending plenty of good cheer and equally good wishes for a brand new start to our good friends at Germany’s Kinoton. Renate Zoller and Christoph Dobler decided to liquidate Kinoton GmbH and discontinue operations on March 31. The brand will live on in a different form and with a new company under the Kinoton Digital Solutions banner, headed by Harald Bergbauer and Lutz Schmidt.

“This was not an easy decision,” Zoller and Dobler write. “For over 65 years, Kinoton GmbH and its employees are renowned for their development of innovative products…and for delivering first-class and speedy service to our customers and contract partners.” The digitization of film and cinemas did result in an extremely different marketplace, however, and the old Kinoton model of manufacturing first-rate products no longer applies. Instead, “future challenges in this digital age require new concepts and ideas focusing on the software and service areas.” Since Kinoton already set a solid foundation with its Kinoton Cine Perfect and Kinoton Remote services, and the expertise of their employees will continue to be at work in the new company, the path for future success is well-set.

The entire teams at Film Journal International and Film Expo Group send their appreciation to Renate and Christoph for so many great years of working together.