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Oz kudocast gets Dainty

Concert promoter to produce event

SYDNEY — The Australian Film Institute has taken another step in shrugging off a difficult couple of years by appointing concert promoter Paul Dainty to produce this year’s kudocast.

Australia’s premier film kudos have for some time been produced inhouse and have been broadcast by a different network each year. The dire situation reached a nadir in 2004 when fourth-ranked pubcaster the Australian Broadcasting Corp. showed a condensed clip package a few days after the event during which one film, “Somersault,” collected all the statuettes.

AFI g.m.. Geoffrey Williams said Dainty’s shingle Dainty Consolidated Entertainment (part-owned by Kerry Packer) was finalizing a broadcast deal with a free-to-air network and was in negotiations with a sponsor.

“The focus has got to go back on the event,” Williams told Daily Variety. “We need to have a fantastic show. No amount of marketing is going to be meaningful if the actual event is not top class, and we know Paul can deliver that.”

Dainty is touring songstress Delta Goodrem, and over numerous decades has toured acts from the Rolling Stones to Michael Jackson. Dainty also co-produced hit tuner “Mamma Mia!” in Oz and New Zealand. The AFI Awards will be staged in Melbourne on Nov. 19 or 20, depending on network scheduling commitments.

Williams said last year’s event suffered because there were only 10 eligible pics, and some of them had similar themes. More pics would have entered had three distributors not pulled titles from competition in protest at what they said was the AFI’s inflexibility about release dates.

“There’s a greater variety of films this year,” Williams said.

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