Digest: 'India' opening; Need for 'Speed'

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'India' opening
The Oscar-winning "A Passage to India" will be released as a collector's edition DVD and Blu-ray Disc on March 15 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The release, which coincides with director David Lean's centenary, comes with commentaries, profiles on Lean and author E.M. Forster and various behind-the-scenes featurettes. Exclusive to the Blu-ray Disc edition are an enhanced graphics gallery and trivia track.

Need for 'Speed'
Lionsgate will bring to DVD "Speed Racer: The Next Generation -- The Beginning," the first-ever movie for the new Speed Racer brand, on May 6, right after the movie's world television premiere on NickToons as a precursor to the new animated TV series. The DVD hits stores just three days before the theatrical bow of the Wachowskis' live-action "Speed Racer" feature film, from Warner Bros. The Lionsgate DVD come with several special features, including an interactive racing game.

Kids' stuff
Family-friendly DVD supplier PorchLight Home Entertainment has acquired U.S. distribution rights to the children's program "Loopdidoo" from Cake Distribution. The animated show, based on the popular "Grabouillon" comic books by Alexis Nesme, targets preschoolers and will begin airing on U.S. television in late spring on Voom HD Networks' Animania. "The animated 'Loopdidoo' program is as charming and whimsical as its name," said Brenda Bisner, vp acquisitions, children's programming, at PorchLight. "Already a hit in Europe, we feel the appeal for preschoolers will be extremely strong here in the U.S. as well."

DEG grows
DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group has signed 11 new member companies, boosting its total to 60. Monster Cable and Digeo have joined as regular members, while nine others have become associate members, including veteran video distributor Ingram Entertainment, Cinram and Distribution Video & Audio.
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