the world digest


Open exchange

BEIJING — China and the U.K. on Thursday unveiled a six-month cultural exchange called China Now, which will include lots of Chinese film programming in the U.K. on the occasion of Prime Minister Gordon Brown's visit here. The China Now Wow Film Tour will screen 14 Chinese films across the U.K. from April through July, from such recent films as Wang Chao's 2006 effort "Luxury Car" to classics including Zhang Yimou's 1991 film "Raise the Red Lantern." Organizers said the program aims to advance the British public's understanding of China and forge strong relationships between artists, cultural leaders, schools, businesses and communities.

Mediaset moving

ROME — Italian broadcast giant Mediaset is making its first significant foray into the U.S. market with a $32 million stake in Spanish-language broadcaster CaribeVision, which broadcasts to the East Coast out of Miami, New York and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Telecinco, Mediaset's Spanish-language subsidiary in Spain, will hold the stake. Mediaset's primary partner in the venture will be Mexico's Burillo-Azcarraga family, owners of the world's leading Spanish-language content producer, Televisa. Mediaset will indirectly control 28.3% of CaribeVision.

Ceremonial office

PARIS — Jean Rochefort has been named president of the 33rd annual Cesar Awards ceremony, France's Academy of Film Arts and Sciences said Thursday. The French actor, who has appeared in more than 100 movies, won the best supporting actor Cesar in 1976 for "Que la fete commence," the best actor prize in 1978 for "Le Crabe-tambour" and currently stars in Guillaume Nicloux's "The Key." The Cesar Awards are set for Feb. 22 at Paris' Chatelet Theater.