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Box office in Western Europe is forecast to increase by 17% over the next five years, according to a new survey by U.K.-based cinema industry analysts Dodona Research that found sharp contrasts to trends in Central Europe.

Commercial Polish television broadcaster Polsat reported net income for the first half of 157.4 million zloty (€40.4 million), down about 10% from the same period in 2006, due to increased investments

For the first time, Poland will be represented in the main competition at the Venice Film Festival (www.labiennale.org) by four films, all co-produced by the Polish Film Institute. The festival started Aug. 29 and lasts through Sept. 8.




Barrandov Studios in Prague has opened a new multifunctional area that will expand the existing modern storage and production space available for film projects.

UPC Holding B.V., the Netherlands-based media company with cable and telephone holdings in 11 countries, reported revenues rose 10% year-on-year to €827 million in the first half. The increase was driven primarily by subscriber growth as well as the acquisition of Karneval, the No. 2 cable operator in the Czech Republic.

The number of cinema screens across Central Europe is set to rise to more than 3,000 by 2011, says a report by the U.K.-based film industry analysts Dodona Research.

Private Polish broadcaster TVN Group (www.tvn.pl) said its second-quarter results beat management's own expectations, with revenues up 32% from the same period in 2006 to 407 million zloty (€109 million). Net profit shot up 64% to 139 million zloty, from 85 million zloty in 2006.

Triple-play operator Multimedia Polska (www.multimedia.pl) reported first-half profits rose 12.3% compared to the same period in 2006 as it continues its acquisition spree. Multimedia recently acquired 15 cable operators in northern Poland and is looking for more.

Viasat Broadcasting (www.viasatworld.com), a European satellite broadcaster, has obtained the exclusive rights to air the next five seasons of the EHF Champions League for handball in Hungary and Slovenia.

Defiance, a U.S. film directed by Edward Zwick (Blood Diamond), will begin filming in Lithuania at the end August for six weeks. Daniel Craig, hot off his success in Casino Royale, will star. The film is produced by The Bedford Falls Company and Grosvenor Park Productions (www.grosvenorpark.com). The budget is estimated at €36 million.