week in review digest
Empty'Control' tops Fortnight at Cannes fest
PARIS — The Directors' Fortnight is taking "Control." The Anton Corbijn film starring Sam Riley and Samantha Morton will open the Festival de Cannes sidebar May 17, organizers said last week (HR 4/25). The black-and-white film centers on Ian Curtis, lead singer of '70s band Joy Division, who committed suicide at age 23. The movie, produced by Corbijn alongside Tony Wilson, Todd Eckhert and Deborah Curtis and released in France by La Fabrique du Films, hits Gallic theaters Sept. 26. The official selection for the Directors' Fortnight will be unveiled May 3.
HBO Films well-armed for 'Pacific'
HBO Films has given the green light to "The Pacific," the long-gestating 10-hour miniseries from executive producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg that serves as the follow-up to the duo's Emmy-winning 2001 HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers" (HR 4/25). Filming on the epic, which HBO Films is producing in association with Playtone and DreamWorks Television, is set to begin this summer in Australia. As far as budget goes, "Pacific" will outpace "Brothers," which in 2001 became the most expensive miniseries ever at more than $120 million. Sources indicated that "Pacific" will cost nearly $200 million. A companion piece to the World War II saga "Brothers," "Pacific" tracks the intertwined odysseys of three U.S. Marines — Robert Leckie, John Basilone and Eugene Sledge — across the vast canvas of the Pacific.
BBC, ITV team for free-to-view sat
LONDON — The BBC and ITV will team to launch a national free-to-view satellite platform next year now that it has been approved by BBC governing body the BBC Trust, the companies said (HR 4/30). The Freesat platform, which will carry as many as 200 channels, will compete with British Sky Broadcasting, the satcaster whose 17.9% stake in ITV has triggered a competition inquiry. It will not carry such pay channels as Sky One, Sky Movies and Sky Sports but will offer viewers a wide range of subscription-free channels including BBC News 24, Cbeebies and ITV2. The BBC and ITV will jointly launch the platform in standard and high-definition format in spring 2008, offering consumers digital satellite interactivity and high-definition capability without subscription.
Casgrain will take over as CBC chair
TORONTO — The Canadian government has named veteran business executive Timothy Casgrain chairman of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. (HR 4/30). Casgrain, the Montreal-based chairman of aviation company Skyservice Investments, will replace Guy Fournier, who quit as the public broadcaster's chairman in September.
Tribeca seats familiar faces as jurors
Chris Cooper, Edie Falco, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Barry Sonnenfeld, Quincy Jones and Whoopi Goldberg are among the all-star lineup of jurors at this year's Tribeca Film Festival (HR 4/25). Other industry names who are participating include John Leguizamo, Alfred Molina and Todd Wagner. The Tribeca All Access program for minority filmmakers will include Freddy Rodriguez and Kerry Washington as jurors. The Tribeca fest kicked off April 25 and runs through May 6.