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19 January 2001

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  • ABN Amro downgrades European media stock

    While their technology cousins have been staging a modest recovery, there was more bad news yesterday (Wed, Jan 17) for media shares. ABN Amro, the giant Dutch owned investment bank, downgraded its investment ratings for the shares of most of Europe's media industries.ABN said the best value to be found is among business publishers and the worst among broadcasters. In downgrading a slew of 22 companies, ABN said that there are now serious questions about advertising sales growth and th
  • Adam Schlesinger leaves Doumanian to join ErgoArts

    Adam Schlesinger, formerly director of development at Jean Doumanian Productions, has joined ErgoArts Inc as vice president of business affairs and production, a newly created post at the New York-based production outfit.Formed in 1999 to conduct the feature film activities of Rigas Entertainment, ErgoArts is headed by Ellen Rigas Venetis and has so far produced Songcatcher directed by Maggie Greenwald which was acquired for domestic distribution by Trimark Pictures and, followi
  • Albis Leasing takes control of Apollo Media

    Germany's largest independent leasing fund specialist, Albis Leasing, has taken majority stakes in two subsidiaries belonging to private media fund, ApolloMedia, which backed this year's Sundance Film Festival opener My First Mister. As part of the transaction, which must still pass its supervisory board, Albis has acquired a 70% stake in the fund's marketing company CHORUS founded by Peter Heidecker in 1998. Some $79.4m (DM165m) was raised during 2000 from private investors for
  • All The Pretty Horses

    Don't listen to Hollywood cynics who are dismissing Billy Bob Thornton's western, All The Pretty Horses, as a kind of The Hi-Lo Country. Stephen Frears' 1998 failure may have also co-starred Penelope Cruz, but further comparison is vastly unfair. While Pretty Horses is not an exciting epic or even a forceful rendition of Cormac McCarthy's cherished novel, it has sufficient merits to warrant a serious look - and a visit to your cinema. An inauspicious American opening,
  • Alquimia pacts with Via Digital; unveils slate

    Spanish digital satellite platform Via Digital has signed an exclusive, three-year PPV rights deal with Madrid production-distribution start-up Alquimia Cinema, to add to its accords with other local companies such as Lauren Films, Manga Films, Planeta 2010, Alta Films, Lolafilms and Filmax. Signed by Via Digital director of programming and contents Ramon Colom and Alquimia head Francisco Ramos, the deal encompasses all of Alquimia's forthcoming productions, about five commercially-ori
  • ALWAYSi launches pay subscription service

    The moment that this year's Academy Award nominees arerevealed to the entire world at a pre-dawn ceremony broadcast live from LosAngeles tomorrow morning, there will be the usual gasps at some of the omissionsand more questions raised about why some of the year's best-knowndocumentary features have failed yet again to make the cut.Although no one knows for sure which five documentaryfeatures will compete for the coveted Oscar in March, it is already known withinindustry circles which t
  • America, Krokodile score at Bavarian Film Awards

    Vanessa Jopp's Forget America, produced by Herbert Rimbach's Avista Film, and Jobst Oetzmann's Die Einsamkeit Der Krokodile, from Constantin subsidiary Olga Film, shared the top $242,000 (DM500,000) Producers Prize at this year's Bavarian Film Awards.However, Oliver Hirschbiegel's psychological thriller Das Experiment, which is being released by Senator Film on March 8 in Germany, snared no less than three prizes - for direction, cinematography (Rainer Klausmann) a
  • Anthony Bregman upped to senior vp at Good Machine

    Anthony Bregman has been promoted to the position of senior vice president of production at Good Machine Inc, the ten year-old production and distribution outfit which is enjoying a banner year led by the success of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.In the past year, Bregman has produced Michel Gondry's Human Nature starring Tim Robbins and Patricia Arquette which Fine Line will release domestically and StudioCanal is selling internationally, and Nicole Holofcener's long-aw
  • Australian films smash local cash records

    Hit films led by The Dish, The Wog Boy and Looking For Alibrandi drove Australian films' share of last year's local box-office to more than double 1999's overall cash take, according to research released by the Australian Film Commission (AFC).Local films released theatrically in 2000 took $29.9m, the most local titles have ever earnt. Roadshow's The Dish has taken $9.2m so far, while 20th Century Fox's The Wog Boy and Roadshow's Looking For Alibra
  • Bavaria Media sets up Italian production outpost

    Bavaria Media, the international production and rights arm of Germany's Bavaria Film, has established a new operation in Rome to spearhead European co-productions and increase the visibility of Italian product abroad.The Rome outfit, which represents the mini-major's first venture outside a German-speaking territory, will aim to develop and co-produce four to five Italian and European feature films a year in addition to television movies.Giuseppe Proietti, who was previously at
  • Belgian film to receive tax shelter boost

    Belgium's federal government will unveil plans next week for a tax shelter aimed at attracting private investors to participate in the production of feature films, documentaries and TV series. A press conference, during which Belgium's minister of finance Didier Reynders will outline the tax scheme, is scheduled for January 23. Although no details will be released before the press conference, it is understood that the tax shelter will be based on a tax deferral for investors in audiovi
  • Belgium close to accord in rental terms war

    Belgian exhibitors' federation, the FCB, and distributors' association, the ABDF, appear to be nearing an agreement in a two-year battle over the distributor-exhibitor split of box office grosses.Both sides are currently drawing up a joint proposal for a new federal accord to be submitted to the Belgian Council of Competition. The FCB issued its notice of cancellation of the previous accord two years ago, to spur negotiation on a revised sliding scale that would take into account all p
  • Berlin firms up programme for Official Competition

    Love story Chloe and horror title Inugmai - both from Japan - are understood to be competing at next month's Berlin International Film Festival as the line-up for the event's main competition section takes shape.Chloe, directed by Go Riju and starring Masatoshi Nagase, is an adaptation of surrealistic novel Froth On The Daydream (L'Ecume Des Jours), by French poet and writer Boris Vian. Inugami, directed by Masato Harada and starring actress Yu
  • Cast Away sweeps number one spots across Europe

    Cast Away took the number one spot in all territories where it opened as the re-teaming of Tom Hanks and Forrest Gump director Robert Zemeckis began its international roll-out over the weekend.UIP opened the picture in the UK, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Austria and Switzerland. The film topped the UK with a storming $4.1m, taking more than twice the three-day figure of its nearest rival and delivering a mighty site average of $10,540 from 394 sites.The drama gave Germ
  • Crouching Tiger rides Cast Away storm

    UIP's Cast Away swept into the top position in the UK this weekend, but Columbia TriStar's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon posted the market's best screen average.The foreign-language epic continued on just 88 sites to retain fourth position with receipts of $976,700 and an average of $11,000. In its second week, Ang Lee's film dropped off only 4%.Buena Vista International's Unbreakable and Meet The Parents, another UIP release, continued to pull in th
  • Davis, Connolly join cast of Man Who Sued God

    Judy Davis and Billy Connolly will star alongside Colin Friels, Wendy Hughes, John Howard and Billie Brown in Australian romantic comedy The Man Who Sued God, which begins its nine-week shoot on January 29.The Sydney-based Davis is more often seen in Hollywood films than Australian ones, her last being Children Of The Revolution in 1995.Mark Joffe is directing the Don Watson script, based on an original idea by Patrick McCarville, while Ben Gannon produces. Icon En
  • De Hadeln unveils Berlin competition line-up

    The Berlin Film Festival's outgoing director Moritz de Hadeln has announced the competition line-up for the event's 51st edition, which as expected features a heavy European and Asian presence (ScreenDaily, Jan 15). Asia, which has always been well served by Berlin in the past, will be represented this year by two features from Japan - Go Riju's Chloe and Masato Harada's Inugami - along with two productions from a partnership between France's Flach Pyramide and Tai
  • Deluxe, Film Finances back E-Studio website

    Film processor Deluxe Laboratories, completion bond company Film Finance Inc and individuals including Cecil B Demented producers Joe Carraciolo Jr, John Fiedler and Mark Tarlov and former studio production chief Fred Bernstein are among the backers of a new entertainment website called E-Studio Network. The site is a free-of-charge service designed to bring preferred pricing, support systems and communications platforms to independent producers and production companies.The site provi
  • Eagle signs three year, nine-pic deal with Mutual

    Mutual Film Co has closed a three year, nine-picture output deal with Italy's dynamic distribution outfit Eagle Pictures kicking off with Tomb Raider, the Paramount Pictures action adventure which Mutual is co-financing.Eagle's deal also includes any Tomb Raider sequels and indicates aggressive renewed activity by Mutual's Gary Levinsohn, who is reportedly close to signing a new producing partner after Mark Gordon left the company last year.The deal was struck be
  • EM.TV plays down KirchGroup impasse reports

    Executives at Germany's beleaguered rights trader and merchandising concern EM.TV have played down wide-spread reports that talks with media concern the KirchGroup are on the rocks.EM.TV spokesman Michael Birnbaum was quoted by Financial Times Deutschland as saying that there were "no problems which do not overstep the normal level". He told Reuters on Tuesday morning that EM.TV had received a fax from the KirchGroup on Monday afternoon "that they want to continue negotiating".B
  • Endemol sells back stake in Germany's G.A.T.

    Munich-based TV production house G.A.T. Film- und Fernsehproduktion has bought back the 49% stake Dutch entertainment concern Endemol Entertainment acquired in the company three years ago.According to the specialist media newsletter Der Kontakter, the move was prompted by Telefonica's take-over of Endemol last year. That move was also followed by Endemol selling back a shareholding in Germany's Helkon Media as part of a strategic repositioning of its distribution activities.Apar
  • European parliament to examine film policy

    Belgian MEP Luckas Vander Taelen has been assigned to draw up a parliamentary report looking at the European Union's policy towards film, as part of a broader debate on Europe's future audiovisual policy. "Europe's policy towards film has so far been far from ambitious," said Vander Taelen. "Media Plus receives a Euros400m budget for five years. That's peanuts compared to what the tobacco growers get." He also feels that Europe should be able to produce its own big-budget featu
  • German fund doubles for international drive

    The regional German film fund of Baden-Wuerttemberg, currently supporting the FilmFour-majority financed Buffalo Soldiers, is to almost double its annual spend to $10m as it seeks to attract further international productions.Fund organiser Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Wuerttemberg (MFG) has also launched a scheme whereby young producers can access a $1m fund for a slate of film projects. Another new scheme, a digital content programme, aims to support interactive film-rela
  • Germany's CineMediaFilm merges internet arm

    CineMediaFilm, one of Germany's first integrated media corporations, is merging its internet subsidiary with Heidelberg-based internet marketing platform will receive a 25.1% shareholding in the online marketing venture. already boasts two million page impressions a month, while, along with more traditional concepts such as online booking, kinokasse offers visitors the chance to participate in new films with an investment of Euro 10."Throug
  • Gibson hears what Australians want

    What Women Want has given Mel Gibson his biggest ever opening in Australia, the country in which he grew up and which made him a star via the Mad Max movies. The film also scored Roadshow Film Distributors its biggest ever opening and the strongest ever performance in Australia by a romantic comedy.What Women Want took A$7.74m in its first seven days, which is the fifth biggest opening week of all time behind Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace
  • Gimenez-Aleman replaces Gonzalez at TeleMadrid

    Francisco Gimenez-Aleman has been appointed the new managing director of Spanish regional public broadcaster TeleMadrid.Gimenez-Aleman replaces Silvio Gonzalez, who was asked Tuesday by the regional Madrid government to resign from his post following the broadcast of a programme concerning the tempestuous political situation in Basque Country. The programme has been critiqued as not condemning Basque terrorist group ETA.The decision of Madrid president Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon has

    Sundance's director of film programming Geoff Gilmore is held accountable every year - not just for which films are chosen or dismissed, but for the state of US independent cinema itself. Now he's rumoured to be about the leave to join one of the majors. Is he selling out' Colin Brown reports.From the moment the Sundance line-up is announced in early December until the final Grand Jury prize has been handed out eight weeks later, all eyes are on Geoff Gilmore. Since 1990,
  • Italian watchdog rules against TMC takeover

    Italy's Communications Authority has vetoed the takeover of Cecchi Gori-owned broadcaster Telemontecarlo (TMC) by publishing giant Seat Pagine Gialle and Telecom Italia.Seat, which recently merged with Telecom Italia's internet division, agreed last August to buy 75% of TMC from the Cecchi Gori group for L750bn ($350m), with an option to up its stake to 100%. However, an Italian law which forbids Telecom Italia or any company it controls from owning a free-to-air TV network, has
  • Jodie Foster heads Cannes jury for 54th edition

    Jodie Foster will head the jury at this year's Cannes Film Festival, which runs May 9-20.The Academy Award-winning actress won the top prize at Cannes, the Palme d'Or, in 1976, for the role of 12-year-old prostitute Iris in Taxi Driver."I remember going to the festival with Taxi Driver when it won the Palme d'Or," she said in a statement. "All of the excitement of the French press, the drama of the competition, the craziness on the boardwalk. I'll never forget the
  • Last Dance, Crouching Tiger drive holiday record

    The North American box office continued the record pace set in December with a massive four-day Martin Luther King holiday weekend, up 38% from the same weekend last year and the biggest Martin Luther King Day weekend ever.Driving the box office was Paramount Pictures' Save The Last Dance, the latest teen hit from sister company MTV Films. Featuring Julia Stiles as a gifted ballerina who moves to a Chicago ghetto and has to integrate herself into the local school and hip-hop cu
  • Lions Gate acquires InDigEnt's debut slate

    Lions Gate Entertainment has acquired all domestic rights to the five-film initial slate of InDigEnt, the digital video film initiative headed by Gary Winich, John Sloss and IFC Entertainment. The deal includes Campbell Scott's Final, Ethan Hawke's Chelsea Walls, Bruce Wagner's Women In Film, Richard Linklater's Tape and Rodrigo Garcia's Ten Tiny Love Stories. Tape and Women In Film are premiering at the Sundance Film Festival.The
  • Maelstrom hits Berlin as festival goes Shopping

  • Malkovich to star in Lelouch's next project

    John Malkovich has joined the cast of Claude Lelouch's next film, And Now Ladies And Gentlemen (aka T For Thriller), which will also mark the big-screen debut of French singer Patricia Kass.Malkovich - who has lately been seen in several French productions, including Manuel de Oliviera's La Lettre, Raoul Ruiz's Le Temps Retrouve and most recently in TF1's high-budget mini-series Les Miserables - replaces Dustin Hoffman.Additional cast include L
  • Matt Brodlie promoted to senior vp at Miramax

    Matt Brodlie has been promoted to senior vice president of acquisitions at Miramax Films, with continuing responsibility for covering the US independent scene as well as Australia, New Zealand and Asia. Brodlie, who was formerly vice president of acquisitions, attends the major film festivals around the world scouting films and talent for the company. He will continue to report to Agnes Mentre, executive vice president of acquisitions at Miramax.Brodlie joined Miramax in 1995 af
  • Metro Tartan buys Japan's Battle Royale

    Hamish McAlpine's Tartan Films has acquired all UK rights to Japanese gore fest Battle Royale.Tartan will release the controversial film in the UK in the autumn through releasing arm Metro Tartan Distribution. Directed by Kinji Fukasaku, the futuristic story follows a group of teens on a desert island who are forced to kill each other until only one survives.Japanese politicians called for the film to be banned, blaming it for real-life teenage violence. The film is due t
  • Mike De Luca out, Toby Emmerich in at New Line

    It was a turbulent day at New Line Cinema yesterday as president of production Michael De Luca left the company and president of music Toby Emmerich was named to replace him.The irrepressible De Luca had spent eight years in the job, turning New Line from a successful genre company into a major hit-maker with movies such as Seven, Rush Hour, the two Austin Powers movies, The Mask, The Wedding Singer and Dumb And Dumber.However, 2000 was
  • Miramax to offer Guinevere download

    Miramax Films has unveiled that Guinevere will be the first feature available for downloading through its 12-picture internet pay-per-view deal with web-based entertainment provider (ScreenDaily April 19, 2000).The 1999 title, starring Sarah Polley and Stephen Rea, can be downloaded from Jan 22 for a fee of $3.49 for a 24-hour viewing license. The 500 megabyte film will require 30 minutes to download over a broadband connection. After the license expires, t
  • ONdigital reaches one million subscribers mark

    UK pay-TV company ONdigital has reached its end of 2000 target of one million subscribers, the company announced on Wednesday.ONdigital said it was on track for two million subscribers in two years but pledged to reduce its churn - the number of customers not renewing their contracts. The broadcaster aims for its churn to stay between 15% and 20% until its customer base becomes more settled.ONdigital's rival BSkyB has more than 4.95 million subscribers and a churn rate of less t
  • Oz government picks up $109m from TV sector

    The Australian Broadcasting Authority (ABA) has collected $109m (A$196.9m) in commercial broadcasting licence fees from Australia's 48 commercial television services. The sum is calculated as a percentage of a licensees' gross earnings for 1999-2000. The ABA is expected to release the aggregated financial results, including expenditure, revenue and profits, in March.The fees paid were slightly less than last year's $109.83m (A$198.4m) but this does not relate to a fall in profit
  • Palace Films picks up a Silent Partner

    Australian distributor Palace Films has acquired all local rights to the low-budget recently-completed Australian slice-of-life comedy Silent Partner. Director-producer Alkinos Tsilimidos is in negotiations with an unnamed international sales agent interested in taking international rights. Daniel Keene adapted the script from his own play about a pair of 40-something down-on-their-luck men offered a dream-come-true opportunity to train and race a greyhound. In the lead roles ar
  • Quiero strikes output deals with Warner, Disney

    Quiero Television, Spain's first and Europe's second-ever DTT platform, has closed two non-exclusive PPV deals with Warner and Disney.Both deals begin 2001 and last five years through 2005. Among the titles included are Warner's Analyze This, Three Kings and Deep Blue Sea, and Disney's Runaway Bride, End Of Days and Hurricane. The Disney deal gives Quiero product from Touchstone, Miramax, Hollywood and Buena Vista International Television.
  • Record start for Finnish Rose

    Finnish production Rose Of The Rascal (Rentun Ruusu) has become the highest grossing indigenous opener in Finland. The drama, which opened on January 12, grossed $382,496 (FIM2,256,725) on 38 screens on the first weekend and achieved admissions of 50,738.Rose tells the story of Irwin Goodman, Finland's most famous pop and protest singer, who died on January 14, 1991, exactly 10 years before the film's opening. The feature is directed by Timo Koivusalo and distributed by B
  • Regent International sells Chippendale's movie

    Regent Entertainment has acquired worldwide rights to Just Can't Get Enough: The Chippendales Story and will offer it to international buyers at the upcoming AFM through sales arm Regent International.The film, written and directed by Dave Payne and produced by Sam Irvin, is a look at the famed 80s nightclub through the eyes of a young man who becomes a club host. It stars Jonathan Aube, Shelley Malil, Kevin Dailey and JP Pitoc.The soundtrack features 80s hits including
  • Salles to direct Motorcycle Diaries for Wildwood

    Robert Redford's Wildwood Enterprises has reeled in Brazil's Walter Salles (Central Station) to direct an adaptation of Che Guevara's renowned journal The Motorcycle Diaries. The road movie will likely be made for a "modest" budget of $6m to $8m, according to Wildwood president Michael Nozik. Principal photography is slated to begin in the spring of this year but the final schedule hinges on Salles' availability. Salles may first direct The Assumption Of The Virgin
  • Sexy Beast

    Screening at Sundance (Premieres). Dir: Jonathan Glazer. UK. 2000. 84 mins.A much-anticipated debut from hot UK commercial and video director Jonathan Glazer, Sexy Beast at least lives up to its title. The acrobatic visuals and pumped-up soundtrack are certainly alluring, but the story is a two-act mongrel, a heist film with just a dusting of psychological thriller and even less mystery. That said, Sexy Beast features in Ray Winstone and a knock-out Ben Kingsley two le
  • Shooting Gallery buys six more for 3rd film series

    The Shooting Gallery has announced the films it has acquired for its third film series at Loews Cineplex Entertainment theatres across North America.The six independent films which will screen over a three month period in 16 markets are Pawel Pawlikowski's British critical hit Last Resort and Kieron Welsh's Irish comedy When Brendan Met Trudy both acquired from The Sales Co; David Maquiling's comic US independent Too Much Sleep, acquired from Open City Films, Jamie
  • Sony acquires chunk of expanding BKNI

    Children's animation producer-distributor BKN International (BKNI) has sold in principle a 3.8% stake to Sony Pictures Family Entertainment as the German company gears up for expansion in the US and Asia.The sale follows BKNI's acquisition of a programme library and Los Angeles production studios for $28m from BKN, effectively marking the end of the business relationship between the two operations. As part of the acquisition, BKNI has purchased the BKN trademark. BKN Inc will change it
  • Spain: production up as local market share falls

    Spanish production levels rose significantly last year but box-office for local product fell, according to the year-end analysis by the Spanish Cinema Academy.Spain produced a whopping 104 films last year, seven more than the previous year and 25 more than in 1998. Average budgets on Spanish films continued their decade-long rise, up from $1.5m in 1999 to $1.8m in 2000.But box office for local fare in 2000 dropped from $66m in 1999 to $52m in 2000. Market share for Spanish films
  • Spain's Alquimia buys five from Alliance

    Madrid-based newcomer Alquimia Cinema has picked up all Spanish rights on five films from Canada's Alliance Atlantis Pictures International, including Berlin Panorama entry Maelstrom from French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve.The deal - brokered by Alquimia chief Francisco Ramos and Alliance Atlantis Pictures International president Mark Horowitz - could lead to further distribution and production partnerships.The other titles picked up by Alquimia include: Denys Arca
  • Splendid forms joint venture with Warner Music

    Germany's Splendid Medien has extended its existing collaboration with Warner Music by launching a joint venture company, based in Hamburg, to sell and distribute DVDs and videos in the German-speaking region. Warner Music will hold 51% of the new company, Warner Vision Vertriebs, with Splendid holding the remaining 49%. Alexander Welzhofer, who was responsible for establishing Virgin Vision and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment in the German-speaking region, has been appointed as managin
  • Star to launch Hindi PPV service in the UK

    News Corp's Asian satellite platform Star TV, which this week launched two channels in the UK, is months away from setting up a British pay-per-view (PPV) service for Hindi movies.Peter Mukerjea, chief executive of News Television (India), told Screen International that the Hindi film services would be operational "within a matter of months, rather than years." He added that PPV would be the preferred format, although Star is also considering importing its Hindi Classic movie ch
  • Strand to re-release Kiss Of The Spiderwoman in US

    US independent distributor Strand Releasing is to re-release Hector Babenco's classic 1985 independent film Kiss Of The Spiderwoman in the domestic market together with Independent Cinema Restoration Archive.The film, for which William Hurt won an Academy Award for Best Actor, was produced by David Weisman and written by Leonard Schrader from the novel by Manuel Puig. The new deal was negotiated between Weisman and Jon Gerrans, co-president of Strand Releasing.The film wi
  • TEAM raises $50m production fund for TV projects

    US producer-distributor TEAM Communications Group is a launching a $50m TV production fund entitled TEAM TV Fund following a pact with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC).TEAM, which is listed on Frankfurt's Neuer Markt and the US NASDAQ exchange, has put up $ 5m of its own capital for the fund. The company has secured a commitment of another $45m financing from CIBC.According to the agreement with CIBC, TEAM TV Fund will be established as a 100% subsidiary of TEAM Com
  • Tele-Muenchen chief readies pay-TV push

    German media mogul Herbert Kloiber is reportedly readying a digital pay-TV channel to go on air this summer.Tentatively titled TM-TV, the service is expected to screen action, adventure and science fiction genres. According to German press reports, Kloiber is planning the service with ex-TM3 managing director Jochen Krohne. The operation would form part of Kloiber's ambition of becoming a third force in German private broadcasting alongside Kirch and Bertelsmann. This latest ven
  • Warner, FilmFour, Senator vow Death To Smoochy

    Warner Bros, the UK's FilmFour and Germany's Senator have partnered on Death To Smoochy, a Robin Williams and Ed Norton comedy directed by Danny DeVito.The project, currently in pre-production, marks the next in the long-term production partnership that FilmFour and Warner announced last Cannes. It reverses the relationship on the partners' first project, upcoming period production Charlotte Gray, where Warner boarded a FilmFour title.FilmFour is taking the UK on
  • Wilkins expands portfolio with NSW arts role

    The director general of the New South Wales Cabinet Office, Roger Wilkins, is set to be given the additional role of director general, Ministry for the Arts. The move links the Australian state's most important cultural institutions, including the New South Wales Film and Television Office (NSWFTO), to the state government's top policy-making body. Wilkins replaces Evan Williams, who held the post since 1988 and is about to retire. He will remain one of the principal film review