the world digest


'Road' to the top

LONDON — "Red Road" helmer Andrea Arnold was awarded the Sutherland trophy as the director "of the most original and imaginative first feature screened" as the curtain came down Thursday night on the 50th annual Times BFI London Film Festival. At the closing gala, the 9th FIPRESCI International Critics Award was presented to director Javier Rebollo for "Lola," the Alfred Dunhill Award went to producer Mark Herbert and the Satyajit Ray Award was given to Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck's "The Lives of Others."

McAuley up to Par

LONDON — Paramount Home Entertainment U.K. has tapped former Universal Pictures International exec Charlie McAuley as its new managing director, the company announced Thursday. McAuley, who has considerable experience in the retail end of home entertainment as well as distribution, will relocate from Ireland to London for the job. He replaces Nigel Hall, who was ousted in September as part of a wide-ranging reorganization at Paramount Home Entertainment.

VOD en Francais

PARIS — Le Meilleur du Cinema Francais, a new French society uniting 34 independent French producers, has announced plans to launch, a platform for downloading independent films online. Starting in January, the site will offer a Web-based video-on-demand service that will make French and European independent films available for €4.99 ($6.40) per download. In addition to its film catalog, will offer film news and interactive forums where users can interact with other cinephiles.