the world digest
BEIJING — Peter Tsi has resigned as executive director of the Hong Kong International Film Festival, ending a six-year run on top of the organization. Tsi declined comment Thursday on speculation that he was unhappy about the level of government support for the event. In March, critics said that the festival's historically independent spirit was being hampered by the growing involvement of commercial sponsors. Festival sources put the cost of the 2007 edition at HK$17 million ($2.2 million), of which just HK$7 million ($898,000) came from Hong Kong's Arts Development Council. Festival artistic director Li Cheuk-to and administrative director Jannie Ma will divide Tsi's job until a successor is chosen.
LONDON — Hungarian film "Taxidermia" has been chosen as the Central European country's entry for the foreign-language Oscar. Gyorgy Palfi's second feature is a disturbing parable about post-World War II Hungarian history and features graphic representations of masturbation, overeating in the name of competitive "speed eating" and a conclusion in which a man performs taxidermy on himself. Its world premiere came last year as part of Cannes' Un Certain Regard sidebar.
Uni, Par pact
LONDON — Universal Pictures International Entertainment and Paramount Home Entertainment have struck a DVD distribution partnership in Russia, the parties said Thursday. Universal Pictures Russia, under managing director Egor Borisov, will now market and distribute Paramount's DVD titles in Russia. The agreement includes all releases from Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, Paramount Vantage, Nickelodeon Movies and MTV Films.