Empties, a poignant Czech comedy directed by Jan Svěrák, will be on the programme of the Times BFI 51st London Film Festival which opens Oct. 17.

The Polish Film Institute, whose mission is to support the country's film industry, is co-financing Time to Die, a tale of an elderly woman's struggle in communist Poland, at the Toronto International Film Festival where it was screened Thursday.

Films backed by the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.org) won seven awards at the recent Venice Biennale. Paul Laverty won the Osella prize among the official awards for best screenplay in It's a Free World directed by Ken Loach and co-produced by PFI.

The Smecky Recording Studio, part of the Barrandov Studios complex in Prague, has wound up taping the music for the new animated megafilm The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, the second feature-length film in the VeggieTales series.

A presentation of upcoming Czech documentary films was held this week in Prague. The presentation, in the style of a cabaret, was organised by the Czech Film Center (www.filmcenter.cz), Institute of Documentary Film (www.docuinter.net) and Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival (www.dokument-festival.cz).

Saviour's Square, a film by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze, qualified as the sole Polish production among 42 films selected by the European Film Academy (www.europeanfilmacademy.org) for this year's European Film Awards. The selection also included films from Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey.

A screening of Andrzej Wajda's long-awaited film Katyń will be featured at the grand opening of the 32nd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.

Czech cable company UPC Czech Republic, part of the U.S. group Liberty Global Inc., has completed the integration of Karneval Media.

A Hungarian committee of film officials has selected Taxidermia, a controversial film dealing with "three stories, three ages, three men" and directed by György Pálfi, for consideration for the Academy Award for best foreign-language film.

Central European Media Enterprises Ltd. (www.cetv-net.com), which operates TV networks in six Central and East European countries, announced it has secured a 60% ownership in Ukraine's Studio 1+1, completing a process that lasted two years.