Von Damm exits Videocine

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MEXICO CITY -- Videocine managing director Eckehardt von Damm is exiting the Televisa-owned film production and distribution arm to launch his own business.

Von Damm, who held the post for 12 years, said in an interview Tuesday that a replacement has yet to be named. He declined to offer specifics about his new business, referring to it only as "an ambitious project" that will keep him working in film.

Industry sources say he may be launching his own production company. His last day at Videocine was Tuesday.

After several years of operating in the red, Videocine has had a strong 2006. This year, Von Damm executive produced Videocine co-production "Una Pelicula de Huevos." The animated feature raked in $12.9 million during an 11-week run, making it No. 2 on Mexico's all-time boxoffice list behind Carlos Carrera's "The Crime of Father Amaro."

Other releases that have performed well for Videocine this year include "The Illusionist," "Hoodwinked" and "Brokeback Mountain." Videocine also programs for Warner Bros. Mexico. In addition, the Mexico City-based outfit has a 50-50 deal in place with indie distributor Quality Films. Of the films the companies acquire together, Videocine handles theatrical while Quality distributes DVDs.

Von Damm also headed Televisa Cine, the Mexican media giant's U.S. theatrical distribution unit, which was forced to halt activities earlier this year due to poor boxoffice results.
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