World Briefs

ITALY

Effectively cleaving Italy’s exhibition sector into two factions, some of the country’s leading multiplex operators have broken away from long-established industry body ANEC to form their own trade association.

Aiming to better represent and protect the interests of multiscreen exhibs, the new structure is known as ANEM (Associazione Nazionale Esercenti Multiplex) and is headed by Carlo Bernaschi, whose Mediaport exhibition unit is one of the seven member companies. Bernaschi formerly was a longterm president of ANEC.

Other members of ANEM include the two main foreign companies operating in Italy within the sector — Warner Village Cinemas, which is the national market leader with an established network of seven plexes, housing over 60 screens; and UCI, which unveiled its inaugural site in December.

Also joining the breakaway group is De Laurentiis Cineplex, a joint venture between Filmauro chief Aurelio De Laurentiis and Loews Cineplex, which has yet to construct its first plex; Cinelandia, which has three multis in northern Italy; Cineland Ostia, a 14-screen complex in the outer Rome area; and startup independent company Giometti Brothers.

UNITED KINGDOM

Britain’s Channel Health has acquired 167 hours of programming from major Australian producer-distributor Beyond, including documentaries, infotainment and drama series “Adrenalin Junkies.” A service targeting women, Channel Health bows this month on Sky Digital.

CANADA

Jeffrey Elliott has been appointed senior vice president of Alliance Atlantis Communications. Elliott will work with Alliance Atlantis CEO Michael MacMillan and the heads of the broadcasting, television and motion picture divisions to develop and implement online Internet strategies for the company.

Elliott was most recently managing director of Netstar Interactive, the interactive arm of Netstar Communications, which owns specialty cable channels in Canada.

GERMANY

Sales outfit Peppermint has acquired for worldwide distribution more than 250,000 titles from Russia’s national television archives, previously unseen outside of the country.

Contained within the library are 700 historical docus as well as 900 natural history programs and 900 animation films.

Peppermint, which is run by ex Kirch Group’s Michael Knobloch, acquired the rights from the Vienna-based Tele M TV.

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