People News

Changes at Café Productions, Discovery Channel Canada, GRB Entertainment and more
September 1, 2003

Café Productions (London): Steven Seidenberg has left his post as director of development for the factual programming prodco. Seidenberg had been with the company, which was taken over by Toronto-based Alliance Atlantis in 2001, for 10 years. Though Seidenberg remains a mover and a shaker in the industry, he has not made public his immediate goals for the future. A spokesperson at Café says there are no plans to find a replacement.

Discovery Channel Canada (Toronto): John Panikkar has left his position as vice president of production at DCC to become an independent consultant. ‘I will specialize in factual [productions],’ Panikkar says. ‘It is the [business] world I know best and the world I love.’ Panikkar however has not severed all ties with Discovery Canada or its subsidiary Exploration Production, where he oversaw doc projects. He will work with Discovery Canada/Exploration Production as a freelancer. At press time, his successor had not been named.

GRB Entertainment (Sherman Oaks, U.S.): Marielle Zuccarelli has joined non-fiction prodco/distrib GRB as director of international sales. Zuccarelli most recently was director of distribution at Hypnotic, an international TV distributor and unit of Universal Studios.

MTV (Santa Monica/New York): The music channel has shaken up the top level of its production development department, adding Liz Gateley as VP and promoting Lisi Harrison to the position of senior director. Gateley left cable channel Lifetime Television for MTV, where her duties will include developing new series. At Lifetime, Gateley was responsible for the development of such non-fiction strands as ‘Intimate Portrait’ (a female-focused version of ‘Biography’), ‘Women Docs’ (about female physicians) and ‘Weddings of a Lifetime’. Harrison was formerly the head writer for MTV Production. The department is behind such reality formats as Say What Karaoke, a sort of Real World meets American Idol.

Off the Fence (Amsterdam): Liliana Lombardero has been hired by the Dutch prodco and distributor to direct distribution. She joined the company at the start of this month. Lombardero most recently worked for the New York office of Australia’s Beyond Distribution.

Outpost Digital (New York): Post-production house Outpost has hired video and sound artist Joshua Pearson. He has worked on a variety of projects, ranging from music videos and TV commercials to multimedia installations and indie docs. Outpost specializes in docs as well as commercials and feature films.

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