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Senator lifts bottom line

Senator Entertainment doubled revenue and booked a small pretax profit last year thanks to the rapid expansion of its German distribution and international production businesses. The German company earned €68.4 million ($105 million) last year, compared with €35 million in 2006, and booked an EBIT profit of €1.8 million ($2.7 million), compared with €70,000 in 2006. On the international production side, Senator delivered its first English-language title, the Julia Roberts starrer "Fireflies in the Garden," and in the fall is set to release its second, the Bret Easton Ellis adaptation "The Informers."

Sony DVDs in Vietnam

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment this month will become the first major U.S. studio to release DVDs in Vietnam after partnering with Vietnamese company Galaxy Studio for distribution in the country. Releases begin Friday with a group of 15 titles, including "Casino Royale." Plans call for the release of about five to 10 DVD titles per month.

'Imagine' a Fair deal?

The Fair Use Project of Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society has agreed to defend Premise Media against claims by Yoko Ono over the use of 15 seconds of John Lennon's "Imagine" in the documentary "Expelled: No Intelligence Involved." Ono is suing Premise on copyright and trademark grounds, but "Expelled" producers maintain that the clip falls under the stipulations of the Fair Use doctrine.

Tech groups come together

The technology committees of the American Society of Cinematographers, Art Directors Guild and Visual Effects Society have formed a joint technology subcommittee on previsualization that will explore issues surrounding previsualization and digital visualization tools in how they affect the workplace.



AMPAS fetes Evans

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will salute studio chief and producer Robert Evans on May 22 at its Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. Viacom's Sumner Redstone and director Brett Ratner are among those expected to join Evans for an onstage conversation and a 40th anniversary screening of "Rosemary's Baby."

India censors cut less deeply

India's film censors appear to be lightening up, clearing more films uncut in 2007 than in the previous two years. The Central Board of Film Certification refused certificates to 11 films in 2007 and cleared 1,507, including 361 imports, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting said last week. This compares with 59 films refused in 2006, when 1,427 films cleared.



Newport winners

Jeremy Podeswa's "Fugitive Pieces" was named best film and "Mardik: From Baghdad to Hollywood" won best documentary at the Newport Beach Film Festival in Orange County, Calif.
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