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The Warsaw Voice » Business » July 9, 2008
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July 9, 2008   
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New Drama from TVP2
Public television broadcaster TVP2 is preparing to launch a new Polish drama series called Czas honoru (Time of Honor) in September.

The 13-episode series is set in the spring of 1941. It tells the story of the underground struggle of the Polish population in German-occupied Warsaw during World War II. It is also a story about youth, betrayal and love.

The filming of the series started on April 8 and will finish by the end of July. Most of the scenes are being filmed in Warsaw, in and around the New Town district and on Krakowskie Przedmieście Street.

The main roles are played by Jan Englert and popular young actors Antoni Pawlicki, Maciej Zakościelny, Jan Wieczorkowski and Jakub Wesołowski. The actors play Polish parachutists who were smuggled in from London, where they underwent military training. Their role is to organize an armed underground movement in the Polish capital.

Michał Kwieciński and Michał Rosa are the directors of the series, which is based on a screenplay by Jarosław Sokół.

TV Polonia Marks 15 Years on Air
TV Polonia, the Polish public television company's satellite channel aimed at Poles abroad, is celebrating 15 years on the air. The channel held a "gala" at Warsaw's Fabryka Trzciny arts center June 29, during which it handed out "Awards for Service to Poland and Poles Abroad."

TV Polonia has been giving out the awards since 1995. A statuette depicting Polish composer Frederic Chopin is awarded to individuals who promote Polish culture, arts, sciences and sports around the world.

This year, for the second time, a special award went to Prof. Andrzej Stelmachowski, a former adviser to the Solidarity movement, ex-speaker of the upper house of Poland's parliament, and former head of the Wspólnota Polska association of expatriate Poles. Dr. Bożena Laskiewicz, a medical doctor linked with the Polish Girl Guides Association Abroad, was another recipient of the award. Laskiewicz is a volunteer who provides first aid to people during public events.

Other award winners were Franciszek Kosowicz, a soldier of the Polish underground Home Army during World War II who today helps Poles in the former Soviet Union; and Waldemar Tomaszewski, chairman of an ethnic Polish political group in Lithuania.

A new production of The Emigrants, a play by Polish dramatist Sławomir Mrożek, has been prepared for TV Polonia to mark its anniversary. The production, directed by Artur Żmijewski, can be seen at the Praga Theater in the Fabryka Trzciny arts center.

Wprost Sold
Cyprus-registered company Qebonto Holdings Limited has paid 6.67 million euros to buy 80 percent of the Wprost Publishing and Advertising Agency, the publisher of Wprost, one of Poland's most popular newsweeklies. Qebonto bought the stock from the company's founders and senior executives Marek Król, Amadeusz Król, and Paulina Król. Their family business Król i Wspólnicy (Król & Partners) has acquired a stake in Qebonto. The Wprost company had said it was searching for an investor to help the company expand its operations. Wprost sales have sharply declined in the past several months.

Summer with TVN
Commercial television broadcaster TVN is launching the second season of its summer program entitled Projekt Plaża (The Beach Project). The program, to be shown from July 12, will showcase Polish summer resorts and give tips to viewers on how they can spend their summer vacations in Poland. The TVN crew will make the program in eight resorts in Poland, Giżycko, Gdynia, Łeba, Ustka, Darłówek, Mielno, Kołobrzeg and Międzyzdroje.

The Beach Project aims to tell viewers about tourist attractions, accommodation and cultural opportunities available in the resorts. The TVN crew will show ways of spending one's leisure time, including sports and dance classes with dancers known from the station's shows. Each town will host showbiz stars and well-known DJs. TVN plans to run the Beach Project until Aug. 24.

Mobile Games Profitable
The global market for games installed in cell phones and other portable devices will be worth more than $4.5 billion at the end of this year, growing by 16 percent from last year, according to a forecast by the Gartner Research company.

According to Gartner Research, the market will grow at a rate of 10-12 percent per year to $6.3 billion in 2011. Still, mobile games will remain only the third most popular type of software downloaded to portable devices, after music files and erotic content, the company says.

The market for mobile games in Western Europe will be worth $701 million this year and $862 million in 2011, while in North America the figures will stand at $845 million and $1.2 billion respectively, Gartner Research says.

The forecast confirms a trend whereby cell phone operators have been reporting declining revenue from traditional voice services for a few years, while income from internet access, multimedia and entertainment has been rising steadily.

TVN Gets a Bank Loan
Private television broadcaster TVN has taken out a zl.200 million loan from Bank Pekao SA. The station says the loan will help it finance its business operations and finance new capital investments.

Power of Cell Phones
Twenty-four percent of households in the European Union use cell phones rather than any other device to make calls, according to a survey by the European Commission. In new EU member states, the percentage reaches 39 percent. Almost 50 percent of respondents have internet access and 22 percent use their computers to make phone calls.

Olympics in HD on TVP
Public television broadcaster TVP will air telecasts from the Olympic Games in Beijing in the High Definition format, the company's managers say. The project will be handled by Robert Korzeniowski, a many-time Olympic race-walking champion who currently heads TVP's sports department.

Agora Eyes Acquisition
Multimedia publishing group Agora, the publisher of Poland's most popular daily Gazeta Wyborcza, recently finalized the acquisition of online publishing company Trader.com (Poland) for almost $54.5 million. Agora says another acquisition may take place later this year, and negotiations are under way. Agora CEO Marek Sowa said the group is interested in online financial and business news services.
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