BFI Lays Out Development Funding Recipients
The British Film Institute has identified 20 UK production companies that will receive BFI Vision Awards 2013-15. The grants will provide up to £200K over two years to the companies for investment in slate development. The BFI said the successful companies each demonstrated “a clear strategic vision for their future growth as well as a commitment to nurturing a diverse range of new voices and fresh ideas from across the UK.” There were 170 applicants overall. The project is part of the BFI’s Film Forever plan to foster growth in the UK film biz and keep momentum going after a strong series of local films. Among the companies receiving £100K are 42 M&P (Welcome To The Punch), Cowboy Films (The Last King Of Scotland), Independent (We Need To Talk About Kevin); Warp Films (Submarine) and Wildgaze Films (Quartet). Among those receiving £50K are Inflammable Films (Tyrannosaur), JW Films (Attack The Block), Rook Films (Sightseers) and animation companies Blue-Zoo, Flickerpix. The full list is here.

Doctor Who’ Gets New Exec Producer; Opens Pop-Up Shop
Brian Minchin is joining Doctor Who as its new executive producer alongside showrunner Steven Moffat. Minchin is an exec producer in BBC Wales drama, currently working on The Game, a new Cold War spy thriller for BBC One. He had previously been a script editor on both Doctor Who and Torchwood. Separately, the BBC says the first ever Doctor Who pop-up store will open its doors in Sydney, Australia this fall. It will feature exclusive merchandise including the Doctor Who home range, apparel, toys, DVDs, books and replica props.

Yahoo And France’s Dailymotion Cease Takeover Talks
Talks have been stymied between Yahoo and online video site Dailymotion’s parent France Telecom-Orange. Yahoo had been looking to acquire a controlling stake in the European equivalent to You Tube. A provisional deal had been signed between the two which could have given Yahoo 75% of the site that has about 112M unique visitors per month. But, citing people briefed on the situation, The Wall Street Journal reports that French Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg told Yahoo COO Henrique de Castro and France Télécom CFO Gervais Pellissier last week that he wouldn’t allow the sale of “one of France’s best start-ups.” However, the minister’s chief of staff contended that it was not the government who shut the deal down. Montebourg “doesn’t oppose a Yahoo-Dailymotion deal, as long as it is a win-win” 50-50 partnership, The Journal reported. French media reports say the government hopes to find other buyers closer to home. A government source told French financial daily La Tribune that Yahoo’s entry “would only make sense if the American portal made very strong commitments to the future of the Dailymotion brand, the support of its business and keeping the headquarters in France.” A source told The Journal that Yahoo is planning to look somewhere other than France for its next move.

Ukraine Gets Tough Marks For Piracy
The office of the United States Trade Representative today released its annual Special 301 report, an evaluation of the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights in U.S. trading partners. The report, which acts as a tool to help reduce online content theft abroad as well as market access barriers to the U.S. copyright industries, identified Ukraine as a Priority Foreign Country. The PFC designation is the most serious ranking under the Special 301 statute. Ukraine earned the title by becoming an international source of pirated music and films that has “significantly harmed” the legitimate film and music market there, with spill over losses in the U.S. The Trade Representative also placed a priority on seeing Thailand enact anti-camcording legislation and will review that country’s intellectual property protections before next year’s Special 301 report. The report also noted that Spain remains off the watch list thanks to the efforts of the Spanish government to enforce copyright protection.

Cineworld-Picturehouse Tie-Up Under Scrutiny
Britain’s competition authorities are to investigate exhibition chain Cineworld’s £47M takeover of distributor and exhibitor Picturehouse over concerns the merger could be bad for moviegoers. The merger was completed in December, but the Office of Fair Trading has now referred the acquisition to the authorities with questions over its potential to limit choice and raise ticket prices. Picturehouse runs 21 art-house cinemas in the UK and in five local areas the OFT said there is a “realistic prospect of a substantial lessening of competition.” The competition authority is expected to report back by early October.

Televix To Distribute Jim Henson Content In Latin America
The Jim Henson Company has appointed Televix Entertainment as its new distributor in Latin America for film and TV programming across all platforms. Such programming as Pajanimals, Dinosaur Train and Fraggle Rock preschool spin-off Doozers is included in the deal. Televix will also distribute Henson’s HIP banner properties including third party acquisitions from Sixteen South Television, The Collective and others.

Universal Home Entertainment Hooks Up With Canada’s D Films
Canadian distributor D Films Corporation and Universal Home Entertainment Canada are entering a distribution pact in the territory that will see Universal distribute D Films’ full portfolio of current and future film and TV programs in the home entertainment marketplace. The first title covered under the deal is Lee Daniels’ The Paperboy. The agreement will also include the releases of Jennifer Hudson-starrer Winnie, Rob Stewart’s Revolution and Paul Haggis’ upcoming Third Person.