Shine America’s Rich Ross to Keynote at Australian Conference
Rich Ross, recently installed CEO of Shine America, will give the keynote address at the Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association conference March 14 in Sydney. Also due to speak are Barney Francis of the UK’s Sky Sports, Discovery Networks Intl. CEO Mark Hollinger, Foxtel Richard Freudenstein, and Viacom Media EVP Colleen Fahey Rush. – Don Groves

Benjamin Millepied To Run Paris Opera Ballet
Black Swan choreographer Benjamin Millepied has been named the new director of dance at the Paris Opera Ballet. He will take up his post at the historic Palais Garnier in Paris’ 9th arrondissement beginning September 2014. Millepied, who also danced in Darren Aronofsky’s Oscar-nominated Black Swan and met his wife Natalie Portman on the film, has spent most of his career in the U.S. and founded the L.A. Dance Project last year. He  told The New York Times he would continue to work with the experimental group until he and Portman move to Paris. A notoriously intense ballet company, Palais Garnier’s troupe was the focus of a 2001 documentary, Etoiles: Dancers Of The Paris Opera Ballet, directed by Nils Tavernier.

Doctor Who’ Mania Spreads To South Pacific
BBC Worldwide and New Zealand Mint have announce they’re launching a set of 50th anniversary commemorative coins based on Doctor Who. New Zealand Mint is creating a one-ounce silver .999 coin with an engraved picture of the TARDIS which can be used as legal tender – if one happens to be in the South Pacific island nation of Niue. They’re worth $2. The Mint is also releasing collectible coins with all 11 Doctors later in the year. The first coins will officially launch at the World Money Fair in Berlin on February 1. They join other Doctor Who memorabilia coming out this year such as Royal Mail commemorative stamps and an ebook series.

New International Sales/Production Company Plants Flag
Andreas Rothbauer and Alec Schulmann have founded Picture Tree International, an international sales and production outfit that will debut at the Berlin Film Festival. Financed by Investitionsbank Berlin and private investors, the company will license rights and co-produce international features. It’s currently in negotiations with production companies from Scandinavia, Canada and South Africa as strategic partners. The company will begin scouting and acquiring in Berlin and announce a full lineup for Cannes. Rothbauer, a longtime head of sales and acquisitions at Beta Cinema, has previously been involved with such Oscar winners and nominees as Downfall, The Lives Of Others and Mongol: The Rise Of Genghis Khan. Schulmann was executive producer on Mongol and has been involved in such pictures as A Yakuza’s Daughter Never Cries, Native Dancer, Nomad: The Warrior and Fifty-Fifty.