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Babelsberg: change at the top

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- Bacher is leaving and Thierry Potok is temporarily taking over as President of the German production house

An anniversary with a change of guard. The famous European film production studio Potsdam Babelsberg has got a new president, who’s starting just as the studio is celebrating it’s 90th anniversary working in European cinema affairs. Taking the place of the former head, Austrian born Gabriela Bacher, who was appointed a year ago as director of the film and television studio, is the German Thierry Potok, who’s already the director of the Vivendi>/b> group. He’ll be taking up the position on temporary basis until a suitable replacement is found. Potok said: “The common understanding necessary for a successful collaboration has been destroyed", probably referring to rumours, which were always denied by Bacher, that the French mother company wanted to sever it’s links with the studio. Babelsberg was also affected by the general crisis last year, and had to reduce staffing this year. Among Bacher's plans was a collaboration with Jodie Foster on the life of Leni Riefenstahl which should be produced by Babelsberg, as well as a project called Borgia directed by Neil Jordan which has been postponed until 2003.

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