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Execs to tour Barrandov

PRAGUE — A group of eight Hollywood production representatives will visit Prague later this month in an effort to lure more major film productions to the scenic Czech capital.

Disney, Universal, 20th Century Fox, MGM and Hallmark Entertainment are among the companies sending execs on the Oct. 25-29 trek.

The trip is being sponsored by Hilton Hotel, but a key element will be a one-day tour of the Barrandov studio complex. The visitors also will check out location possibilities in and around Prague, including historic Karlstejn Castle in the central Bohemian countryside.

Prague still sees its share of international productions. “Les Miserables,” starring Liam Neeson, filled much of Barrandov’s large complex last spring. Liv Tyler and Robert Carlysle are in town for “Plunkett and Maclean” and “The Crow III” is due in town this winter.

But the pre-“Mission Impossible” heydays (before Tom Cruise’s anti-Prague press conference), which saw 40 productions vying for locations and studio space in a single summer, are gone.

In an unrelated move meant to underscore Barrandov’s commitment to producing and servicing film product, the studio announced on Oct. 9 the election of Norbert Auerbach to the board of directors of holding company AB Barrandov.

Auerbach has served as executive consultant for the company for the past 18 months. He returned to Prague (where his father had been active in film distribution) in 1989, after past posts as president of UIP and president/CEO of United Artists.

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