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Hemdale moves into Canada

Hemdale Communications Inc. is looking to get a piece of the Great White North. The expanding outfit Friday announced the creation of subsid Hemdale Canada Inc., which will be run by prexy Tony Williams.

“We’ve been looking at this option for quite some time,” said Hemdale’s chief financial officer Rene Rousselet. “This way, we’ll get a lot better distribution in Canada, (in addition to) better control of both our marketing and (cash) collections.

“And with Tony up there, we also have a better chance of getting first look at (feature productions) shooting in the area,” said Rousselet, adding that although Hemdale primarily is focusing on acquisition of finished product, the company is considering co-producing/financing options “on a project-by-project basis.”

‘Savage land’

Based in Calgary, Alberta, Williams will cut his teeth on 1994 theatrical release plans for the Hemdale feature “Savage Land,” a frontier tale of a family pushing on westward despite losing all their belongings to robbers.

Other upcoming releases are the animated “The Princess and the Goblin” and romantic comedy “Across the Moon” starring Christina Applegate and Elizabeth Pena, helmed by Lisa Gottlieb.

Williams previously held spots at Calgary-based vid distribber Nova Entertainment, Hanna-Barbera Prods., Fries Entertainment and Republic Pictures.

The opening of the Canadian branch is the second aggressive expansion in a week that saw Hemdale Communications snap up most assets from indie TV distribber Newberger Entertainment Group, yielding over 200 hours of programming and an estimated $ 6.5 million library (Daily Variety, Nov. 16).

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