the world digest


Choosing sides

COLOGNE, Germany — Constantin Film AG, one of Germany's top indie film producer/distributors, is following the lead of Warner Bros., New Line and HBO in going all Blu-ray. Constantin said Thursday that it will drop Toshiba's competing HD DVD format and distribute all future releases solely on the Sony-developed Blu-ray Disc as of March 1. Constantin home entertainment head Franz Woodtli said the company was "clearly following the international trend" in picking Blu-ray in the high-def format war.

Honoring scribes

PARIS — French screenwriters union the UGS will celebrate Jacques Prevert's birthday Feb. 4 as it awards its second annual Jacques Prevert Script Prize for best French screenplay, the UGS said Thursday. Director Daniele Thompson will preside over the ceremony at Paris' Orangerie restaurant. Thompson's 2008 jury includes screenwriters Pascal Kane, Olivier Lorelle, Loraine Levy, Juliette Sales, Jerome Soubeyrand, Gilles Taurand, Anne Louise Trividic, Pierre Uytterhoeven and Philippe Vuaillat. The winner in the original screenplay category will see 4,000 copies of their script distributed in screenwriters' magazine "La Gazette des Scenaristes."

Opening night

ROME — Brazilian singing star Marisa Monte will open the third RomaCinemaFest, organizers said Thursday. Monte, a 40-year-old crooner with a background linked to classical music, samba and folk, will open the festival Oct. 2, performing ahead of the yet-to-be-named opening film. It's the same slot that last year featured operatic tenor Andrea Bocelli.