week in review digest
EmptyTorreal adds 20% of Imagina
MADRID — Spanish investment group Torreal has acquired 20% of Spanish entertainment giant Imagina, the television and film company said Wednesday (HR 4/19). The move adds resources to the growing titan created by last year's merger of two of Spain's most important television production and postproduction groups: Grupo Arbol and Mediapro. Grupo Arbol and Mediapro maintain a 60% stake in the company, with British advertising group WPP holding the remaining 20%. Imagina, which posted 2006 revenue of €600 million ($816.7 million), is Spain's television content leader.
WIP strikes a Bona Fide deal
Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa's Bona Fide Prods. has signed a two-year, first-look deal with Warner Independent Pictures (HR 4/18). The move sweeps Berger and Yerxa into WIP's fold, where they already are producing an adaptation of the Tom Perrotta book "The Abstinence Teacher." The project also puts the duo back in business with directors Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, who helmed the little-movie-that-could "Little Miss Sunshine" for the producers. It reunites Berger and Yerxa with Perrotta, who co-authored the script for the adaptation of his novel "Little Children," which they also produced last year to much acclaim. Perrotta is adapting his own book.
Highs and lows for Telecom Italia
ROME — Telecom Italia named a new chairman Tuesday, the same day U.S. telecom giant AT&T said it was no longer interested in acquiring control of the former state monopoly and Italian media mogul and former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi reversed course and said he was interested (HR 4/18). The appointment of Pasquale Pistorio, the former CEO of Franco-Italian STMicroelectronics, is the latest development in the soap opera involving Europe's fourth-largest telecommunications company.
Madrid sets bar for inaugural fest
MADRID — The inaugural CIM Madrid International Film Festival will run March 28-April 5, organizers said Tuesday as they took the wraps off what they hope to be Europe's newest high-profile film festival (HR 4/18). Organized by the CIM & ART Foundation and backed by the Madrid municipal government, the festival will screen about 20 films across three main sections: an official section, with 10 films; Filma Madrid, with five titles; and Opera Prima, also with five.
'Phoenix' flies into theaters via Imax 3D
TORONTO — Imax Corp. said Thursday that it will convert the last portion of its upcoming super-sized version of Warner Bros. Pictures' "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" from 2-D into 3-D (HR 4/20). Toronto-based Imax explained it will use its proprietary 2-D to 3-D conversion technology to transform the last 20 minutes of the digitally remastered movie ahead of its July 13 day-and-date release. Last year, Imax converted about 20 minutes of select sequences from Warner Bros.' "Superman Returns" from 2-D to 3-D. But that effort called for the Imax audience to receive a visual cue designated by director Bryan Singer to indicate when they should don or remove their Imax 3-D glasses.