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Sid gives Col giggles

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Columbia Pictures has acquired the rights to two projects to be produced by Sid Ganis’ Out of the Blue shingle. The first is an untitled comedy pitch set in the world of college basketball from the writing duo David T. Wagner and Brent Goldberg (“National Lampoon’s Van Wilder”).

La7 replaces CEO

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Giuseppe Parrello, CEO of Italian weblet La7, ankled Friday, after the company recorded disappointing financials results and continued low ratings.

Aussie firewalls

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Australia’s major film industry guilds have urged the government not to cave into U.S. pressure for unrestricted access to new-media platforms in the free-trade agreement in negotiation.

Agresti commences ‘Less Bad World’

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Helmer Alejandro Agresti, whose latest film “Valentin” is Argentina’s submission for consideration in the foreign lingo section of the 2004 Oscars, has begun lensing $2 million drama “Un mundo menos peor” (A Less Bad World).

Rainbow’s gravity

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Investors holding out for the pot of gold at the end of Chuck Dolan’s Rainbow may have a long wait. Shares in the Dolan clan’s family-run but publicly owned media group dropped like a rock Friday as Wall Street digested the Cablevision patriarch’s decision essentially to mortgage its valuable cable nets in order to pay for his prized Voom high-definition (and high-risk) venture.

WIN fetes Donner, Jenson

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Producer Lauren Shuler Donner will be honored with the Women’s Image Network’s lifetime achievement award on Nov. 2. DreamWorks’ Vicky Jenson will also be honored at the ceremony with the inaugural Kiera Chaplin Limelight Award.

Review: ‘Terra Nova’

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Fact-based drama about Robert Falcon Scott (Don Reilly), the British explorer who set out in 1911 to reach the South Pole before his rival, Roald Amundsen. Directed with insight by SCR artistic director Martin Benson, is an honest, harrowing tale of a man so swept up in playing an outdated gentleman’s game that he loses all sense of reality.

‘Olvidados’ lands laurel

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Last month, “Los Olvidados,” Luis Buñuel’s 1950 classic, was added to the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, the second film named to a list that includes the Gutenberg Bible. Now Televisa is rushing to cash in on the honor.

ITV money men pinkslip Green

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The shareholder rebellion that led to last week’s bloody ousting of Carlton founder Michael Green from his role as chairman of the soon-to-be merged ITV web marks the end of an era in British television.

Auds cast an eye over ‘Pop’ clones

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The second season of RTL Television’s “Pop Idol” format “Deutschland sucht den Superstar” is still pulling in auds despite a deluge of casting-show clones.