the world digest
EmptyWilde about Morrison
Irish singer-songwriter Van Morrison, screenwriter William Monahan and writer-director Terry George will be honored by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance at its second annual Oscar Wilde: Honoring Irish Writing in Film awards ceremony Feb. 27 in Los Angeles. Al Pacino will present the award to Morrison, who will perform that evening. Actress Roma Downey is set to emcee the event, which is sponsored by the Irish Film Board, Walt Disney Studios and Culture Ireland. The evening is hosted by the U.S.-Ireland Alliance, a nonprofit organization created to foster ties between the U.S. and Ireland.
Taking an Equity stake
BERLIN — Datty Ruth's VCL Film + Medien has acquired Equity Pictures, the German film fund that backed such pictures as "16 Blocks," "The Black Dahlia" and "The Matador." VCL's subsidiary, Allied Film Management, will take an 85% stake in Equity, with the remaining 15% being incorporated into VCL via a capital increase of €812,500 ($1 million) in new shares. VCL said the price tag for Equity was in the "upper single-digit millions of euros" and that the deal will be largely financed through a loan from a hedge fund.
EC absolves pubcaster
BRUSSELS — Sweden's public broadcaster, SVT, did not provide illegal aid to state-owned network operator Teracom, the European Commission said Thursday as it closed the books on a two-year investigation. The EC probe was originally prompted by complaints from satellite TV operators, who insisted that the government was boosting the Swedish operator's move toward digital technology platforms. "The commission is convinced that Sweden did not grant Teracom state aid to help the move to digital television," EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in a statement.