news digest


HBO to launch docu Mondays

HBO is launching a documentary franchise on Monday nights in the summer. Kicking off the showcase June 9 is "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired," about the legal case against the Oscar-winning director. Other docus selected to run Monday nights are "Resolved," "Hard Times at Douglas High: A No Child Left Behind Report Card," "Section 60: Arlington National Cemetery," "Heidi Fleiss: The Would-Be Madam of Crystal," "Baghdad High," "Ganja Queen" and "The Black List, Vol. 1." The docus will run June 9-Aug. 25.

Lee in Netflix's chain of command

Home entertainment industry veteran Anna Lee has joined Netflix as head of supply chain development and replication. She joins the online movie rental service Monday and will report to Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos. She will be responsible for managing the integration of Netflix's key content supplier relationships — including studios, replicators and third-party service providers — and for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the company's supply chain. She also will support the implementation of Netflix's Blu-ray Disc program.

Hollywood fest sets dates

The Hollywood Film Festival has set new dates of Oct. 22-27 for its 12th annual edition, which will be held at the ArcLight Cinemas in Hollywood. The fest's annual Hollywood Awards gala will be held on its closing night at the Beverly Hilton.

Amazon helping d-music market

DENVER — New figures from the NPD Group suggest that Amazon's DRM-free digital-music service is doing more to grow the overall digital music market as opposed to simply stealing customers from iTunes. The research group said only 10% of Amazon customers had previously bought music from Apple's iTunes. While many tagged the Amazon service as an "iTunes killer" when it first launched, the music industry's hope all along was never to cannibalize iTunes sales but rather encourage new digital buyers. NPD says Amazon is now second only to iTunes in the a la carte digital download category.

BET content coming to Xbox Live

NEW YORK — Viacom's BET Networks said that it is partnering with Microsoft to offer its shows on the company's Xbox Live platform. BET series available for download include "College Hill 4," "American Gangster" and "Comic View." Microsoft launched the Xbox Live Marketplace for movies and TV in 2006. It already has deals with Viacom's MTV and Nickelodeon among several other networks and studios.

Leomax adds touch of 'Grace'

NEW YORK — Leomax Entertainment is producing the psychological horror film "Grace," starring Jordan Ladd ("Grindhouse"). First-time feature director Paul Solet adapted the film from his eponymous short, which centers on a woman who discovers that her "unborn" child has come back to life. Leomax will distribute domestically via its genre label Indigomotion with Anchor Bay Entertainment as part of their co-financing/output deal. Leomax's Ingo Vollkammer, ArieScope Pictures' Cory Neal and Adam Green and Dark Eye Entertainment's Kevin DeWalt are producing.