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AtomFilms yearns for European market

Netcaster taps U.K. TV-vet Shields for expansion role

LONDON — Short-film Netcaster AtomFilms has appointed Mikael Shields to the newly created post of senior VP of entertainment, Europe.

Shields, a veteran TV exec in the U.K., will play a key role in European expansion for the Seattle-based dot-com, overseeing all acquisitions and the development of programming for the Continent. He plans to pitch aggressively to the creative community in Europe, and to cultivate relationships with potential strategic partners in the telecommunications business.

AtomFilms already has an exclusive syndication partnership with UPC/Chello, Europe’s leading Internet service provider.

Shields is ankling his post as chief exec of EVA Entertainment, which he helped set up and sell to Pearson TV in 1999 to become its animation arm.

Pearson has appointed Hugh Pile to replace Shields.

Prior to his involvement at EVA, Shields worked for the BBC, where he helped develop programs including “Wallace & Gromit” for BBC’s Children’s Intl.

Shields will also be involved in helping the company to capitalize on advances in Internet and cellular phone technology.

“I had felt for a while that I was missing out on the possibilities of the online environment and not being immersed in them,” said Shields. “Whereas broadcasters effectively act as taste makers by selecting from all their possible programs, on the Web, where the viewers can choose from the whole catalog, 95% of your films are working for you.”

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