AUSTRALIA

Otto will topline 'Dead Letter Office'

Miranda Otto (“Love Serenade” and “The Well”) has inked to star in “Dead Letter Office,” which lenses in Melbourne later this month. Directed by John Ruane (whose “That Eye The Sky” won the 1995 Venice Film Fest special jury prize), pic portrays a young woman who begins a search for her long lost father in the office of lost letters but finds love there instead.

Backer of pic include the U.K.’s BBC, Polygram (which holds Oz rights), Southern Star (which has global sales rights), production company Artist Services and the Film Finance Corp.

Austar’s cash infusion

Denver-based United Intl. Holdings subsid UIH Asia-Pacific has secured an A$200 million ($156 million) debt facility from the Chase Manhattan Bank to fund the operation of its Aussie rural paybox Austar.

Austar has become the Oz’s third- largest feevee operator with about 135,000 subscribers from its franchise area of 1.5 million homes.

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