Archive for September 26th, 2007

Radio Nominations Open

26th September 2007 by Maura McHugh

The Guild Awards Committee has decided that the volume of nominations for the ZeBBie for best radio script is not large enough to make a definitive shortlist. Accordingly the date for receipt of nominations has been extended to 5.00pm on Monday 1st October.

If you have not made a nomination for best radio script you are invited to do so now. Please examine the list on the Guild web site and make your choice.

The shortlist for the ZeBBies will be announced on Monday 8th October and will be available for reading and voting.

Tickets for the awards ceremony, which will take place on Tuesday November 6th, will be available from the week of Monday, 8th October.

Venezuelan Films

26th September 2007 by Maura McHugh

The Associated Press reports that last year President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela established a state-run film studio, called Cinema Villa, to create a new era of local cinema.

The first film is about a controversial subject: Luis Posada Carriles, the former CIA operative who allegedly masterminded a jetliner bombing and attempted to assassinate Fidel Castro. The director, Eduardo Barberena, claims he did not get any pressure from the Chavaz government to tell the story in a particular way.

Barberena, who has mostly made TV commercials, sees Cinema Villa as a chance for Venezuela to expand a tiny movie industry — which has made only a few internationally known movies, such as “El Pez que Fuma” (The Smoking Fish) in 1977 and “Secuestro Express” (Express Kidnapping) in 2005.

Three dozen feature films, documentaries and TV programs are now in production at the center, according to Culture Minister Francisco Sesto. They include “Imagining Revolution,” about the development of Chavez’s socialist movement, and “Venezuela Petroleum Company,” about corporate exploitation.

The new film center is both financed and controlled by the government, similar to how Cuba runs its Institute of Cinematographic Art and Industry. Scripts are selected by a committee that includes Venezuela’s culture minister, who reports directly to Chavez.

This initiative by Chavaz is drawing fire for being propagandist from some quarters who suspect that the art will come second to the message. The audience will have its chance to judge once the films are released.