For the Record

A weekly compendium of news from the non-fiction world.
April 11, 2001

APTN producer/cameraman Kerem Lawton has been killed during recent fighting in Macedonia. Lawton was 30.

Warner Bros. Domestic Television will not attend NATPE next year, but they will be in Vegas. WB will be holding court at the Venetian Hotel instead of being on the convention floor.

NHK has instituted the NHK President’s Prize at BANFF2001. The new annual award will be offered to the best example of high definition programming and will carry a value of CND$25,000. NHK and Discovery Digital Networks are also initiating an HD pitching session, with development funds going to the winner. For information check:

Docland’s, Ireland’s newest doc fest, has sent out a call for submissions. Details can be found at:

National Geographic and the Smithsonian Institute will soon coproduce and distribute large-format films. The partner’s first effort is tentatively titled Celebration of Flight.

Disney plans to cut 4,000 of its 120,000 full-time staff.

CBS is going back for a second installment of Big Brother, with some changes to the original Endemol format which will it hopes will prop up ratings. Instead of one cast member being voted off by phone poll voting each week, the cast will vote a single cast member off themselves.

Turner’s TNT Network recently considered placing heart monitors on the wives of NASCAR drivers during races in order to up the tension of the broadcast. It dropped the idea when it was badly received during a news conference.

Amsterdam’s Off the Fence and Granada International in the U.K. have agreed to coproduce more than 100 hours in the next two years.

Discovery Europe and Italy’s Mediatrade have agreed to coproduce seven films, to be broadcast on Discovery in Europe and Mediaset’s channels in Italy.

TechTV and Que Publishing (part of the Pearson Technology Group) have agreed to develop and publish a series of technology-related instructional books and videos.

The BBC/Discovery/TV Asahi coproduction (with ProSieben and France 3) Walking With Dinosaurs recently won a Peabody.

National Geographic TV’s crittercam just celebrated its 15th birthday.

In the U.S., Animal Planet will hit the radio airwaves on April 21 with a nationally syndicated program: Animal Planet Radio.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.