'Walking' sticks

Indie distributor Metrodome Distribution has snared U.K. and Irish distribution rights to Kari Skogland's IRA drama "Fifty Dead Men Walking" in a deal with co-producer and sales banner HandMade Films International. The deal follows negotiations that began at the Toronto International Film Festival. Handmade and WMA are working on a U.S. rights deal.

It's not tv

HBO has finally made it to Canada — sort of. Canadian cable and satellite TV operators on Thursday began offering a free, on-demand channel of HBO shows for existing subscribers of domestic pay TV nets the Movie Network and Movie Central. The U.S.-based HBO service remains barred from carriage.

Jury duty

Australian director Rolf De Heer has been named president of the jury for the Sydney Film Festival's official competition in June. De Heer, whose "Ten Canoes" opened the 2006 edition, takes the baton from Gillian Armstrong.

Amaze-ing hire

ITV Global Content head Lee Bartlett has hired the producer of the controversial reality show "There's Something About Miriam" to head the newly formed ITV Global Formats division. Remy Blumenfeld joins from his production shingle Amaze TV, which will cease to trade, and ITV Global will acquire its intellectual property catalog.