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ITALY

Italian film critic Andrea Martini has been appointed director of the Pesaro Intl. Festival of New Cinema, replacing long-standing chief Adriano Apra, who stepped down after the fest’s 34th edition in June to head the National Cinematheque in Rome.

Martini is a film journalist and critic for Italian dailies La Nazione, Il Resto del Carlino and Il Giorno, and a professor of film history and criticism at the U of Arezzo.

He was a member of the selection committee of the Venice Film Festival during Gillo Pontecorvo’s tenure as fest director and, since 1997, has been chief delegate of Venice’s independently programmed Intl. Critics Week section.

BRAZIL

It’s time for those “Rugrats” to samba.

Nickelodeon Latin America will launch an independent Portuguese-lingo signal for Brazil later this month, the Viacom-owned cabler has announced.

Though Nick Latino already reaches around 1 million Brazilian homes, the new feed allows the kiddie net to tailor its programming, promos and advertising to the local market.

Nick Latino is one of the region’s fastest-growing nets, chalking up a total 6.3 million subscribers since its December 1996 launch.

The web’s slate already includes one of Brazil’s most popular kiddie shows, “Castelo Ra Tim Bum,” from Sao Paulo pubcaster TV Cultura.

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