World Briefs

CHINA

After weeks of speculation that the government would name a pro-China outsider as head of pubcaster RTHK, a 28-year veteran has gotten the job instead.

Chu Pui-hing, the deputy broadcasting director at Radio Television Hong Kong, will take over the top job today.

He replaces Cheung Man-yee, who had been RTHK’s director for 13 years. In a highly controversial move last month, the government transferred Cheung, who had passionately defended open airwaves, to Tokyo as the city’s trade representative.

RTHK is run by the government, though its director is allowed to exercise editorial freedom. Under Cheung, the broadcaster took a lot of high-level heat for allowing opponents of Chinese and Hong Kong politicians to air their views.

GERMANY

Film company Advanced Medien has acquired a package of three films from British producer Jeremy Thomas’ Hanway Films.

Package includes the Coen brothers’ “To the White Sea” as well as Michael Rymer’s “Easy Peasy” and Takeshi Kitano’s “Brother.”

Advanced has invested a total of DM46 million ($25 million) in films so far this year.

DENMARK

Denmark has chosen Soren Kragh-Jacobsen’s “Mifune” as its Oscar contender in the foreign-language film category. Sony Pictures Classics will release the film in March in New York and L.A., followed by a national release.

“Mifune” was awarded the Silver Bear at the 1999 Berlin fest and the Nordic Amanda at the Norwegian Intl. Film Festival, while Anders Berthelsen and Iben Hjejle were nominated for acting honors by the European Film Academy.

AUSTRALIA

Thesp Richard E. Grant (“Jack and Sarah,” “L.A. Story”) has inked to star in Australian family picture “Hildegarde.” Backed by Scanbox Asia-Pacific, pic will shoot early next years with helmer Di Drew and producers Heather Ogilvie and David Hannay.

Sally Wong has been appointed advertising sales manager for Turner Intl. Australia, handling Oz-Kiwi sales for Cartoon Network, CNNI and TNT, which next year will be rebranded Turner Classic Movies.

Based in Turner’s recently opened Sydney office, Wong was previously a senior account manager with Multi-Channel Network, the ad sales arm of Oz feevee operators Foxtel and Optus.

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