In Brief

Lottery funds save festival...
March 1, 2000

Lottery funds save festival

The Danish State Lottery and Football Pool Funds have rescued the Balticum Film and TV Festival with a US$50,000 grant. The festival, which takes place this year from June 3-9 on the Danish island of Bornholm, has a total budget of US$230,000. Festival highlights include The Balticum Competition for Documentaries.

ChumCity wins copyright case

Toronto broadcaster ChumCity has won a trademark suit against Adam Lisowski and his Paris-based company, Societe Fashion TV, preventing them from using the FT-Fashion Television name. A ChumCity spokesperson states the ruling prevents SFTV from using the name (regardless of any decision to appeal), and also awards the Canadians ‘monetary damages of a substantial nature.’

BBC Worldwide wheeling and dealing

BBC Worldwide had inked a programming output deal with the Odyssey channel in Australia. The deal includes over 60 hours of programming which begin airing next month.

BBC Worldwide Americas and N.Y. merchant bank Veronis Suhler have announced intentions to create a new U.S. publishing-based consumer media company. The 50/50 joint venture will have an initial start-up fund of US$100 million. The new venture does not include BBC America, nor any partnership with current BBC partner Discovery Communications.

BBCWA has also signed an American merchandising deal with Giftware North America for Walking With Dinosaurs plush toys, figurines and puzzles. The products will be available for Dinosaurs’ U.S. appearance on Discovery next month.

WDR cuts avoids VW trouble

German pubcaster wdr has cut a crucial two minutes from its transmission of I Was a Slave Labourer, a documentary about the fight for compensation by those who were used as forced labor under the Third Reich. Legal action by Volkswagen’s official biographer was threatened if the controversial cut was not made. The film has been nominated for the prestigious Grimme Preis and was screened uncut at the Berlinale, which invited legal action.

BBC issues tighter producer guidelines

The BBC has issued a revised edition of its Producer Guidelines, covering issues from research and product placement to the portrayal of ethnic and gender stereotypes. The new Guidelines are in part a response to the faking scandal which hit the U.K.’s factual programming industry last year. The guidelines are also an attempt to avoid external regulation of BBC program standards in the face of bitter debate about veracity, vulgarity and increased BBC commercialism. There has also been specific revision requirements for reconstructions. Stories are also required to be backed up by more research. Although this will increase production costs, Sir Christopher Bland, BBC chairman, said to producers, ‘If you can’t afford to do it properly then you can’t do the program.’

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.