For the Record

A weekly compendium of news from the non-fiction world.
May 10, 2001

Arne Sucksdorff, who had been dubbed ‘the father of Swedish documentaries’, died this week at the age of 84.

On Tuesday, U.K. Culture Minister Chris Smith said a government inquiry had cleared BBC Worldwide of accusations made by competitors last February that it had used public money to subsidize commercial ventures. Richard Whish, a law professor at King’s College, had been retained for the investigation, and ruled that BBC Worldwide did not distort competition in the U.K. television market.

In Hollywood, the Writers Guild has ratified a new deal that will see them help Tinsel Town grind out movies for at least three more years. The Screen Actors Guild gets its kick at the can when talks begin on May 15th.

The BBC’s new commissioning guide is available online at

U.S. ratings for the final episode of Survivor averaged 36.4 million viewers and just under a 16% share of the market (18 to 49 age group). The finale for the previous series had pulled in higher numbers (an average of 51.7 million and an almost 23% share), but this season’s ratings were still enough to give CBS the number one spot during sweeps week.

The CBC/Radio-Canada keynote address at Banff 2001 will be given by Thomas Homer-Dixon, author of The Ingenuity Gap.

Israel’s Zebra Communications is looking to start a new lifestyle channel, pending a deal with local cable operators.

Sony Pictures Classics has picked up Stacy Peralta’s Dogtown and Z-Boys, which won both the Audience and Directing awards at Sundance this year. Sony’s deal sees it picking up English speaking territories and North America.

Three Israeli cable operators (Matav Cable Systems Media, Tevel Israel International and Golden Channels) are petitioning that government for the right to merge into a single entity called Gvanim Cable TV.

TViFusion has secured a US$10 million funding commitment from private equity firm Warburg Pincus.

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.