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The 'Royals' Do Tango

21 Sep, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel

England's Prince Harry may have just turned 21, but he still remains in the shadow of older brother William — a reality London-based Infinity Video aims to remedy with the Oct. 11 release of Royals Today.

The four-DVD boxed set (prebook Sept. 21, $29.98) features four co-productions with BBC Worldwide made between 1999 and 2003 titled King Charles & Queen Camilla: Into the Unknown; Princess Camilla: Winner Takes All; Prince William & Prince Harry: Prisoners of Celebrity; and Harry: The Mysterious Prince. They also are available individually for $9.98.

Directed by Alan Scales — who did BBC documentaries on Ronald Reagan and Prince Charles in the early 1980s — the 50-minute films feature extensive bonus materials and interviews, including one with Princess Diana's secretary.

“[Harry], like so many of the British royal family, has managed to cause a few problems, including wearing a Nazi swastika to a party,” said Adrian Munsey, president and founder of Infinity. “We tried to do a more balanced picture about him.”

Munsey said that for Infinity product to be successful in the United States, it required American distribution. Santa Monica, Calif.-based (and British-owned) Tango Entertainment is fulfilling that role.

“It is not possible for a British company to do anything in America without full American operations, with American staff and American expertise,” Munsey said.

In addition to arthouse films from directors Werner Fassbinder and Werner Herzog, among others, Infinity is releasing two titles: The Black Candle and The Black Velvet Gown ($19.98 each; $29.98 two-disc boxed set), based on best-selling novels by the late author Catherine Cookson, who was the top-selling British author until overtaken by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.

Munsey said Infinity plans to release up to 36 films annually to take advantage of a relatively strong U.S. market.

“What is appealing about the United States is that you are so big, and you still seem to have an economic growth occurring. In Britain, things have plateaued in the past six months,” Munsey said.

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