Anurag Kashyap To Petition India’s High Court Over Anti-Smoking Disclaimer
Indian director Anurag Kashyap is reportedly filing a petition with the High Court of Mumbai against the local censor board after it sought to have the filmmaker insert a government-mandated anti-smoking warning into his drama Ugly. The movie, which debuted in Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, is set for release on January 3 in its home territory. The Bollywood Hungama blog says Kashyap contends the disclaimers, which would appear when anyone lights up on screen, restrain filmmakers’ rights to freedom of speech and expression. Per the blog, Kashyap claims the warning also destroys the aesthetic value of a film and distracts the audience. India’s censors cracked down on smoking last year, and last month Woody Allen pulled his Blue Jasmine from release in India over the disclaimers.

Berlin’s Historic Zoo Palast Reopening After Renovation
Berlin’s Zoo Palast cinema is to reopen on Thursday after a major renovation. AFP reports that the former Cold War-era theater will have seating for 1,650 moviegoers in seven screening rooms. The theater originally opened in 1919 as the Ufa-Palast am Zoo and was the largest cinema in Germany until 1929. It was a major location for film premieres, including Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph Of The Will under the Nazis in 1935. It was destroyed in a 1943 Allied bombing raid and replaced in 1957 by the Zoo Palast. The recent three-year restoration cost €7.4M ($10.1M), according to AFP. The Zoo Palast also was part of the Berlin International Film Festival until 1999 when the fest moved its center of activity to Potsdamer Platz.

Vivendi Board OKs Split Into Two Companies
The board of Canal Plus owner Vivendi has unanimously approved the group’s split into two companies. A move along the lines of News Corp’s, the demerger will see Vivendi separate its telecoms business from its media assets. The plan could take the form of a distribution of shares in mobile phone unit SFR to Vivendi shareholders on the day of the transaction. This would offer them the opportunity to invest in two separate vehicles listed on the stock market and valued according to the specifics of their respective sectors, Vivendi said. The company said it was aiming to become “an international media group, bringing together strong brands in the production and distribution of original content. This group would fully respond to the new ways of consuming digital media in music and video, and would pursue its development in fast-growing markets.” Vivendi shareholder Vincent Bolloré will become chairman of the media business of Vivendi after the spinoff. The supervisory board also appointed Arnaud de Puyfontaine as senior EVP in charge of Vivendi’s Media and Content activities. He will join the group in early 2014 from Hearst Magazines UK, where he is CEO, and from Hearst Magazines International, where he is EVP.