US-styled Development Fund To Back British Film

A union of  of hedge funds and Hollywood is crossing the Atlantic, with two upstarts forming a new investment fund for high net worth individuals to back British films. Writer-Director Gregory Mackenzie and former Morgan Stanley analyst Brett Walsh, have set up the Lexington Film Fund. To date the fund, which has raised more than £500,000 ($870,000) and seeks to gather up to £3m by April It aims to provide funding for films at the crucial points in early development.

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Saunders Spoof Leads New BBC Comedy Drive

Comedienne Jennifer SaundersComedian Jennifer Saunders and child psychology expert Dr Tanya Byron are teaming up  to collaborate on a new comedy series, one of a raft of pilots ordered by BBC1 controller Peter Fincham. The Vivienne Vyle Show is a spoof on the kind of parenting therapy shows fronted by Byron, who presents BBC3 series Little Angels and The House Of Tiny Tearaways. Saunders plays fictional therapist Vyle.

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Profit Dive at Pinewood as Hollywood shuns UK

Pinewood Studios - the 007 hallPinewood Shepperton, the studios group chaired by BBC chairman Michael Grade, has reported a near 60% fall in operating profits, reflecting the decision by many Hollywood studios to desert the UK because of uncertainties over tax breaks. Profits fell from £11.4m in 2004 to just £3.7m for the year to December 2005 as US movie studios abandoned the UK as a production base.

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NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS NOW OPEN IN NYC

 

New Directors/New Films, one of the most anticipated film events on the New York film calendar, celebrates its 35th anniversary of one of the key showcases of new international film talent. The Festival unspools 25 feature films and 5 shorts from March 22 through April 2, 2006. The program is presented jointly by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Department of Film and Media of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

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MICHAEL BURNS: In the Crosshairs of Preventive War.

Preventive Warriors - A Film by Michael Burns"I made this film because I feel a sense of responsibility as an American.  Here we are, living in a place of enormous wealth, opportunity, beauty and privilege, where alongside those things, and to preserve those things, our government engages in extremely dangerous behavior. Here, if you choose, you can ignore US foreign policy. Meanwhile, around the world, American foreign, economic and military policy, is not something you can ignore. In fact, it is determining the course of your life, your aspirations and your potential. So, as an American, I have the chance to try and do something about that..."

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BBC to Document The Raj

Soldiers of the  British Indian Army during the RajBBC Birmingham is to produce three 60-minute documentaries for BBC2 marking the 60th anniversary of the British Raj. Britain's colonial rule over its Indian Empire ended with independence for India in 1947 and partition into separate countries of India and East and West Pakistan.

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YouTube Craze Makes Industry Cry Foul

YouTube logoThe latest entertainment craze to sweep the internet has got the film and television industries worried. Thousands of amateur video clips, rare footage of music concerts and home-made film spoofs are now being uploaded every day to the video-sharing website YouTube for the enjoyment of millions of web users around the world.

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2,000 BBC Jobs To Go

BBC shedding 2,000 jobs next yearThe BBC is set to lay off almost 2,000 staff over the next 12 months, as it gears up for the second year of director general Mark Thompson's cost-cutting programme.
The corporation is currently 50 jobs short of reaching this year's target of shedding 1,045 staff, according to broadcasting union Bectu, after a combination of outsourcing and voluntary redundancy.

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Film Opportunity for the Streetwise

Streetwise - The Mitre, High St, EdinburghStreetwise - Edinburgh’s high definition short film Scheme to capture 'the streets of Edinburgh' has been launched for hopeful filmmakers. Five films, drama or documentary, with the most imaginative response to the theme will be commissioned as part of the Streetwise Films initiative being run by the Pilton Video group.

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LUCKY BREAK: Getting a Start in Film

Shooting The Rosslyn Enigma Anyone trying to gain employment in the Britain's film industry knows how hard it can be getting a foot in the door. Three years at film school and all the enthusiasm and determination in the world still can't guarantee you a job in an industry that measures success in terms of who you have worked with and what films you have worked on. Here's a story that shows how one aspiring filmmaker got his first lucky break. Not only in the crew, but in front of the camera as well. Tim Maguire – Director of The Rosslyn Enigma explains…

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The Met Set Up Capital Police Film Unit

The Standard of the Metropolitan Police ServiceThe first ever Metropolitan Police Service Film Unit (MPSFU) has been announced by Lord Puttnam, Chair of the Film London Executive Task Force, and Commander Shabir Hussain of the Metropolitan Police. This streamlined service has been set up following recommendations from the London Filming Partnership Executive Task Force.

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Sony Ships New Compact HDV Camera

New, more compact Sony HDV cameraSony are to release a less expensive more compact HDV camera, shipping next month to the US. Sony has announced the HDC-HC3 HDV camcorder, which is 26% more compact than its predecessor and also includes a HDMI digital audio/video output. The $1,700 unit includes a 2.7" wide touchscreen LCD display, and is slated to be available in April.

An enlarged picture of the new camera appears below:

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