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BENDER IS SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE

Physicians for Social Responsibility-Los Angeles will honor Lawrence Bender with its 2008 Socially Responsible Media Award on June 8 at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica. Bender will be recognized for combining his filmmaking talents as a producer with his passion for progressive social change. Bender ("An Inconvenient Truth") is producing a documentary on nuclear weapons — a seminal topic for Physicians for Social Responsibility, which was founded in 1961.

SUPERSTUDIO SET

Alexander Avdeyev, Russia's newly appointed culture minister, confirmed Wednesday the government's plans to create a "supersized" film complex out of Moscow's Mosfilm and Gorky studios and St. Petersburg's Lenfilm, thereby canceling plans to put Gorky on the block. Avdeyev said the process will require careful handling. "The restructuring should not have a negative impact on the studios' personnel," he said. He also expressed concerns that bureaucratic hurdles might hinder the restructuring.

FEORE HEADS BANFF JURY

Canadian actor Colm Feore will head the international jury for the 29th Banff World Television Festival, set for June 8-11. Also on board to choose six special jury prizes and a Grand Jury Prize are RAI consulting editor Daniele Doglio, American Public Television CEO Cynthia Fenneman, Banff Center director Kerry Stauffer and Creative Business Wales CEO Robert Thomas. The jury will select the Banff World Television Awards from 100 programs in 22 categories from 44 countries.

SHORT FEST LINEUP SET

The Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival on Wednesday unveiled its lineup, led on opening night by festival award winners Jesse Rosensweet's "Paradise" and Pinny Grylls' "Peter and Ben." The festival, organized by Norman Jewison's Canadian Film Center film school, includes Patrik Eklund's "Situation Frank," Luis Cook's "The Pearce Sisters," Valentin Potier's "Tony Zear" and Nicolas Provost's "Gravity." The 14th installment will feature 268 shorts from 31 countries. The CFC Worldwide Short Film Festival runs June 10-15 in Toronto.
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