World Briefs

TORONTO

Radio Canada Intl. will receive C$15 million ($10.5 million) over three years from the federal government for infrastructure and improvements. This is in addition to last year’s reinstatement of funding for the service, which broadcasts across five continents in seven languages using shortwave radio, local placement, Internet and satellite.

FRANCE

Company founder and chairman Claude Berthier has ankled his post at Marina Prods., with Millesime Prods. prez Gaspard de Chavagnac taking the reins. Berthier will serve as a consultant to the company.

With his new post at Marina, a French TV animation production company, de Chavagnac will remain president of Millesime.

Adding to the shakeup, Dargaud, a subsidiary of Media Participations Group and majority owner of Marina Prods., recently acquired a majority stake in Millesime.

Marina and Millesime are moving to combine their administrative functions, while leaving the production activities separate.

France Telecom has agreed to acquire 100% of satellite uplink and TV production facility Hero Communications.

The purchase, to be made via the telco’s GlobeCast North America subsid, would entitle Hero’s founder-president Robert Behar to remain as CEO.

Based in Miami, Hero recorded sales of $18 million in 1997. The company derives most of its revenue from satellite uplink services to Latin America-directed cablers like Gems, the Family Channel and Spelling’s TeleUno.

HONG KONG

“Beast Cop,” the latest crime story from local son Gordon Chan, and “Dragon Inn,” a 1968 classic by the late King Hu, will open the 22nd Hong Kong Intl. Film Festival next month.

“Sweet Degeneration,” a coming of age tale by Taiwanese actor-director Lin Cheng Sheng, will close the non-competitive festival, which will run April 3-18.

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