Former Canal Plus president Pierre Lescure has been named the honorary president of the annual Rencontres Cinématographiques de Dijon, set to take place next month in the French town. The executive, who was co-director general of Vivendi Universal following the French giant’s ill-fated acquisition of the studio in 2000, recently completed a government-commissioned study on anti-piracy laws and France’s fiercely protected Cultural Exception in the digital era. The film meetings in Dijon are organized by writers, directors and producers association ARP. The annual three-day confab includes several panels on issues facing the French and European film industry and regularly attracts heavy-hitters from the media and film sector as well as the Motion Picture Association and some of the U.S. guilds. Michel Hazanavicius is president of the org, but will be absent this year due to a scheduling conflict. VP Costa-Gavras will run the show in his stead. The event is set for October 24-26.
Sky Atlantic Sets Premiere Dates For HBO’s ‘Hello Ladies,’ ‘Veep’
Sky Atlantic HD, the exclusive UK home to HBO, will debut Stephen Merchant’s new sitcom Hello Ladies and the second season of Armando Iannucci’s Veep on October 16. Hello Ladies stars Merchant as a gawky Englishman searching for the woman of his dreams in Los Angeles. It is executive produced by Merchant, Lee Eisenberg and Gene Supnitsky, who also write several episodes. Julia Louis-Dreyfus is up for an Emmy this weekend as the put-upon U.S. Vice President in Veep. The show, which also is vying for outstanding comedy series, is executive produced by Iannucci, Frank Rich and Christopher Godsick. Sky customers with connected boxes will be able to see the premiere episodes of both series on demand starting October 10.
Zodiak Active Founder Marco Ferrari To Step Down As Chairman-CEO Marco Ferrari, Chairman and CEO of Zodiak Active, the global digital arm of Zodiak Media, will step down at the end of the year. His departure follows a planned succession strategy that will see Nicola Drago, current SVP Strategy and New Business, take over as CEO in January. Ferrari founded the company as Neo Network 14 years ago. It was acquired by De Agostini in 2007 and evolved into the global digital and branded arm of Zodiak. Drago joined Zodiak Media in 2008 as M&A Manager.
Joe Eszterhas Toplines London Screenwriters Festival
Joe Eszterhas will be the headlining guest speaker at next month’s London Screenwriters Festival. Along with being the centerpiece audience interview, Eszterhas –who penned such films as Basic Instinct, Flashdance, Sliver, Nowhere to Run and Showgirls — will share his experience directly with screenwriters in a series of one-to-one script sessions and present the festival’s inaugural British Screenwriters’ Award. More than 100 industry professionals and 600 delegates are expected at the event, which runs October 25-27 at the London School of Film, Media & Performance