news digest


Suit spurs new rules for N.Y. filming

New York will create first-time, written rules for the issuing of film permits under terms of a settlement in a federal case brought by the New York Civil Liberties Union, officials said Wednesday. The NYCLU said the city on Friday will publish the newly formulated rules and drop a requirement that filmmakers and photographers show proof of $1 million insurance coverage. The settlement follows the NYCLU suit filed in January 2006 in U.S. District Court in New York on behalf of Indian documentarian Rakesh Sharma, who was detained in May 2005 for filming a city sidewalk scene with a hand-held video camera. The suit charged that Sharma was told he lacked a necessary permit and then was denied one when he applied.

Red Envelope, Laemmle/Zeller on 'Strike'

Red Envelope Entertainment and Laemmle/Zeller Films will jointly distribute the Volker Schlondorff-directed "Strike," which will open June 15 in New York and June 29 in Los Angeles. Based on actual events, "Strike" is described as the story of a little-known figure who was integral in beginning the Solidarity movement and setting Poland on the course to democracy.

Lopez to leave 'em laughing

George Lopez is set to host the final show of the 2007 Latino Laugh Festival, set for June 24 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland. The fest, which runs June 22-24, will feature more than 30 comics and numerous celebrities at seven Hollywood venues. Also confirmed as celebrity hosts and headline comics are Judy Reyes ("Scrubs"), Mario Lopez ("Dancing With the Stars"), Adam Rodriguez ("CSI: Miami"), Nadine Velazquez ("My Name Is Earl") and others.

AmericanLife gets classic series library

AmericanLife TV Network, which targets baby boomers, said Wednesday that it has reached a long-term agreement with Twentieth Television for a library of classic television series for its primetime lineup, including "Hill Street Blues," "WKRP in Cincinnati," "L.A. Law," "The Mary Tyler Moore Show" "Batman," "Lost in Space," "Newhart" and "St. Elsewhere." "Blues," "Elsewhere" and "Law" will debut in June, while the other programs will air in varying time slots this year.

New deals for 'Passions' principals

NBC Universal Television Studio has signed the principal cast members of the daytime drama "Passions" to new contracts, ensuring that they will continue with the soap when it makes the move from NBC to DirecTV's original programming channel, the 101, on Sept. 17. Those continuing with the series include Eric Martsolf, Ben Masters, Kim Johnston Ulrich, Dylan Fergus, Galen Gering, Emily Harper, Lindsay Hartley, Liza Huber, James Hyde, Juliet Mills, Heidi Mueller, Tracey Ross, Eva Tamargo, McKenzie Westmore and Erin Cardillo.

Craig managing three FilmLight regions

Postproduction technology developer FilmLight has named Scott Craig managing director, Japan, India and Southeast Asia. He will be based at FilmLight's newly opened office in Singapore. Craig brings 20 years of industry experience including eight years as managing director of Da Vinci Asia Pacific. FilmLight is the maker of such tools as the BaseLight color correction system and NorthLight film scanner.