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Robert Halmi ( Hallmark Chairman) Honored at MIPTV

Reed MIDEM will honour Robert Halmi, Sr., Chairman of Hallmark Entertainment, with a Lifetime Achievement Award, at this year’s MIPTV international television market (Cannes, March 29 – April 2). The veteran television producer, who has been described as “the last of the great network television impresarios,” has over 200 made-for-television movies, series and miniseries to his credit. Robert Halmi, Sr. will receive his award March 30.

“It’s a real pleasure to welcome Robert Halmi, Sr. to Cannes and to salute his extraordinary career with this Lifetime Achievement Award,” comments Paul Zilk, Chief Executive Officer of Reed MIDEM. “Robert Halmi, Sr. is an exceptional figure. Throughout his lengthy career, marked with success, the international television community has come to appreciate and respect a man of letters, an artist and a businessman.”

During a filmmaking career spanning three decades, Halmi has garnered major industry prizes including no fewer than 97 Emmy Awards and 13 Golden Globes for such titles as “The Josephine Baker Story,” “Gulliver’s Travels,” starring Ted Danson, “Gypsy,” “Mr. and Mrs Bridge,” starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward and “Dinotopia,” which aired on the ABC network.

Renowned for producing quality, family-friendly entertainment, Halmi has brought a string of ‘event’ productions to the small screen and, in the process, attracted top feature film names to his television projects. Gregory Peck, Ben Kingsley, Jon Voight, Miranda Richardson, Glenn Close and Sam Neill are just a few of the motion picture stars to have worked with Halmi on the likes of “Dostoevsky’s Crime & Punishment,” “Moby Dick,” “Alice in Wonderland” and “Noah’s Ark.”

Currently, Halmi is in pre-production on several new projects including “EarthSea” (a miniseries based on the popular Ursula K. Le Guin novels) for The Sci Fi Channel, “The Five People You Meet in Heaven” (based on the best-selling Mitch Albom novel) for ABC, “A Christmas Carol” (starring Kelsey Grammer) and “Hercules” for NBC, and “The Colt” (an epic civil war movie) for The Hallmark Channel.

Halmi’s most recent production (filmed in 2003 in Budapest and Slovakia) is an authentic remake of the Academy Award-Winning screenplay by James Goldman, “The Lion in Winter,” starring Glenn Close, Patrick Stewart and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. This film is scheduled to air in the U.S. on Showtime, in May 2004.

Born in Hungary, Robert Halmi, Sr. was an active member of the anti-Nazi underground during World War II and was later arrested by the communists when they took over the country. He emigrated to the United States in 1950 where he worked for many years as an award-winning photographer for Life Magazine, before launching himself into the television production business.

In 1994 he sold his production company, RHI Entertainment, to Hallmark Cards. Robert Halmi, Sr. retained his chairmanship of the renamed Hallmark Entertainment. Renowned among the world’s leading producers of miniseries and movies made for television, Hallmark Entertainment has an annual production slate of 30-40 projects.

In recent years, Hallmark has diversified its activities to include its own branded television outlet, The Hallmark Channel. Available in the United States and 122 additional countries, the channel currently has over 111 million subscribers worldwide.

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