Amenta’s ‘Girl’ widescreen winner

Wide format coming of age

AMSTERDAM — Marco Amenta’s “A Girl Against the Mafia,” produced by France 3 and Odissea of France, walked away with the Golden Rembrandt at the fourth International Widescreen Festival Le Nombre D’Or Awards ceremony held here Sunday night.

The awards, which focus on new widescreen productions, have become a regular sidebar event at the International Broadcasting Convention. The technical trade event, now in its 31st year, is attempting increasingly to draw in creatives. It opened its doors on Friday and concludes today at the RAI International Convention Center in Amsterdam.

Cinematographer and jury member Dante Spinotti (“L.A. Confidential”) told Daily Variety that ” ‘ Girl Against the Mafia’ focuses on human issues and values, not just technical creativity,” a development he said reflects the coming of age of widescreen, referring to televisions with a screen ratio of 16:9, rather than the current 3:4, nearly square, ratio.

Switching to wide

With its launch to digital television this fall, the BBC is making a massive switch to widescreen programming, and other countries are expected to follow suit. Some 40 channels in Europe are making widescreen product. More than 1 million widescreen sets were sold in Europe in 1997, and, in France alone this year, sales of widescreen sets have thus far risen by 400%.

“The 16:9 ratio is the perfect proportion for the human eye, one of the reasons it’s called the golden ratio or Le Nombre D’or,” said fest chairman Franco Visintin. “It allows the human eye to disappear into the picture rather than seeing borders.

“The Temple Troop,” produced and directed by Mark Linfield for Green Umbrella, the BBC Natural History Unit and Discovery Communications, took a Silver Rembrandt for best runner-up program.

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