news digest


Argento goes English for 'Giallo'

ROME — Italian horror director Dario Argento will begin filming an English-language slasher film next month in Turin, the local film commission said Wednesday, marking his first English-language effort. The film will be titled "Giallo" — Italian for "yellow" and local slang for the thriller genre — and will star Argento's daughter, Asia, along with Ray Liotta and Vincent Gallo.

Mueller gets four more with Venice fest

ROME — Venice Film Festival artistic director Marco Mueller was officially reappointed for a second four-year term Wednesday, giving the film festival unusual continuity in that role during what is sure to be a challenging period. The coming years could prove difficult for the festival as it operates around the construction of a new Palazzo del Cinema.

Velocity pumps $10 mil into Broadband

NEW YORK — Velocity Interactive Group, the digital media investment firm headed by former News Corp. and AOL executives, will invest $10 million in online video ad company Broadband Enterprises. Velocity also is looking to back talent and online video production companies. Partner Ross Levinsohn said that Broadband's monetization technology could be useful when such deals are wrapped up.

This is Howe Sci Fi does it

Sci Fi Channel has promoted Dave Howe to president. Howe, who was GM and executive vp since July 2004, will continue to report to Bonnie Hammer. He will be in charge of original development, programming, marketing, planning and the company's digital products.

IMDb packages deal for Withoutabox is set to announce today that it will acquire Withoutabox, an online company that simplifies the process of submitting movies to film festivals. Withoutabox was founded eight years ago by David Straus and Joe Neulight and has connected 150,000 filmmakers to about 3,000 festivals in 200 countries. IMDb, owned by Amazon, would not disclose the price tag.

Hillman looks good to Lifetime

Lifetime Networks has pinned vp stripes on David Hillman, who played a key role in its new reality series "How to Look Good Naked." In his new position as vp reality programming, Hillman will continue to be responsible for developing and overseeing unscripted programming at Lifetime. He is based in Los Angeles, reporting to senior vp reality programming Jessica Samet.

GoldenTree files suit against Axium

GoldenTree Asset Management, a primary lender to bankrupt payroll services company Axium International, has filed suit, along with GTAM Special Realty, against the company's former chairman John Visconti, vice chair Ronald Garber and others, claiming they looted the assets of Axium to fund their "extravagant lifestyles." The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, claims at least $87.5 million in damages. Visconti and Garber denied responsibility for "pulling the plug" on the company and say the situation with Axium is "beyond our control."