week in review digest


EC eyes Nokia for mobile standard

BRUSSELS — The European Commission will name the DVB-H technology developed by Nokia as the standard for mobile broadcasting in Europe (HR 6/29). The commission — the European Union's regulatory authority — is set to announce July 11 that DVB-H has established itself as the "strongest contender" among the competing broadcasting technologies. EU Media and Information Society Commissioner Viviane Reding will propose the standard because she fears the market will take too long to reach a consensus on its own.

MGM, TMG ink TV output pact

COLOGNE, Germany — Herbert Kloiber's Tele Munchen Gruppe has signed a long-term licensing deal with MGM International TV Distribution Inc., giving TMG German-language TV rights to upcoming MGM and United Artists features along with a slew of library titles (HR 6/29). The deal includes such upcoming MGM/UA theatrical titles as the 22nd James Bond film, the new installment of "The Pink Panther" and UA releases "Lions for Lambs" and "Valkyrie." Tele Munchen also picks up a slate of releases including "Rocky Balboa" as well as several telefilms and straight-to-DVD titles. The TMG deal is the first major international agreement signed since Gary Marenzi rejoined MGM last month as co-president of worldwide television.

'Beowulf' will battle day-date on Imax

TORONTO — "Beowulf," Robert Zemeckis' adaptation of the ninth century English epic poem, will screen in Imax theaters as a digitally remastered 3-D movie beginning Nov. 16 (HR 7/2). Toronto-based Imax said Friday that it will partner with Paramount Pictures, Shangri-La Entertainment and Warner Bros. Pictures to show a supersize version of the battle between the warrior Beowulf and the monster Grendel day-and-date with its theatrical release in conventional 35mm theaters. "Beowulf" also will screen in 3-D on about 1,000 Real D large-format screens, Real D chairman and CEO Michael Lewis said.

Gypsy problem: Pics for police

ROME — Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni has worked out a deal with the government of Romania that will trade screenings of Italian films and other cultural events for police manpower to keep the Italian capital's growing gypsy population under control (HR 6/28). The unusual plan was hatched by Veltroni, who, according to newspaper Il Giornale, saw a chance to promote Italian culture in Romania while promoting order back home. The films-for-cops plan is part of a wider effort to stem the tide of illegal Romanians in Rome who are arriving to the tune of 1,000 per month, according to media reports. In return for providing a squad of Romanian officers to work in Rome, Italy and the European Union will sponsor an all-night gala that will feature free screenings of Italian films — plus music and other cultural events — in Bucharest.