Former BVI chief AlvaroZapata has been appointed executive president of Grupo DeAPlaneta, the giantproduction-distribution company established by Italy's DeAgostini and Spain'sGrupo Planeta in 2000.

Taking over from GiorgioSbampato, Zapata, who spent the last 12 years with BVI as vice President forSpain and Portugal, will oversee all the group's activities in theatrical,video, DVD and television distribution alongside its fledgling film and TVproduction arm. DeAPlaneta also has a majority 33.5 percent share ofbroadcaster Antena 3.

DeAPlaneta started businessdistributing arthouse fare, including Roman Polanski's The Pianist, andhas recently moved into larger commercial titles including Sky Captain AndThe World Of Tomorrow and An Unfinished Life with Jennifer Lopez.

Former UIP head Manuel Ortizrecently joined the Barcelona-based company to head up theatrical distributionas part of an overhaul that took place following the departure early this yearof general manager Adolfo Blanco to set up his own distribution company, ABLAugusta.

On the production side,DeAPlaneta has co-produced arthouse hits such as Smoking Room and EnConstruccion (World in Progress) and is looking to get more involved in thelocal sector, where Zapata's experience at BVI where he oversaw thedistribution of Football Days and Carmen should come into play.