news digest


'Bullrun': Goldberg would love to do it

Wrestling icon Bill Goldberg has signed on to host the new Spike TV series "Bullrun," set to premiere in the spring. "Bullrun," based on an international automotive rally, features 12 teams of two drivers who use their own cars in a rally that takes them across America in a competition for prize money and the 2007 Bullrun Trophy. "These Bullrun contestants better bring the same intensity, passion and love for cars that I have, or they are going to be left in the dust," said Goldberg, a former WWE and WCW world heavyweight champion who left the ring in 2004 to pursue acting. His credits include the film "The Longest Yard" and CBS' "Yes, Dear." "Bullrun" is produced by Rocket Science Laboratories, Bullrun Llc. and Maloof Television. Goldberg is repped by APA, manager Erik Kritzer and attorney Henry Holmes.

Live Nation's House in order

Live Nation has completed its $354 million acquisition of the House of Blues chain, announced in July (HR 7/6). With the closing of the deal, Live Nation — Clear Channel Entertainment's one-time concert division — now owns, operates or has booking rights for 10 House of Blues venues in major U.S. markets, the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver and eight amphitheaters in the U.S. and Canada.

James elected AFCI topper

For the first time in its history, the Association of Film Commissioners International has chosen a non-American as board president. Robin James, CEO of the Pacific Film & Television Commission in Queensland, Australia, was elected president by the 13-member board during its October meeting at Cineposium 2006 in Pasadena. James will serve a two-year term and replaces outgoing president Pat Swinney Kaufman, head of the New York State Governor's Office for Motion Picture and Television Department. Swinney Kaufman, coming off a four-year term as president, will continue on the board. Also elected to the AFCI board are Jenny Williams of the Glasgow Film Office as vp, Walea Constantinau from the Honolulu Film Office/Island of Oahu as vp, Mississippi Film Office's Ward Emling as treasurer and Orange County Film Commission's Janice Arrington as secretary. There are 325 AFCI member film commissions in 42 countries.

AFI grads' short films go to iTunes

Shorts International, which specializes in distributing short films, is releasing 16 shorts from graduates of the AFI Conservatory for purchase and download via iTunes. The titles include such films as Barbara Schock's "My Mother Dreams the Satan's Disciples in New York," winner of the 1999 Oscar for best live-action short; Jeffrey Lengyel's "Just for a Laugh," in which Robin Williams made his screen debut opposite the late Andy Kaufman; Jonathan Kahn's "Chili Con Carne Club," featuring Mel Gibson; and Alexandra Kerry's directorial debut, "The Last Full Measure."

Strand has big 'Dreams'

Strand Releasing has acquired all U.S. rights to Jasmila Zbanic's "Grbavica: The Land of My Dreams," the winner of the Golden Bear at this year's Berlin International Film Festival, from Match Factory Films. The film, Bosnia and Herzegovina's official entry for foreign-language film Oscar consideration, is screening tonight and Wednesday at AFI Fest. The deal was negotiated by Strand Releasing's Jon Gerrans and Match Factory's Michael Weber.