Court Gives Tax Victory to Documentary Filmmaker

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Mon, 04/30/2012 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

In answering the question of whether documentary filmmaking can be considered a for-profit business documentary filmmakers have claimed victory against the IRS. The US tax court has ruled that Lee Storey can write off hundreds of thousands of dollars of business expenses from the production of Smile 'Til It Hurts: The Up with People Story. The IDA FIND NALIP WMM NAMAC and UFVA filed a friend of the court brief in the case. The brief noted “A judicial pronouncement that documentary filmmakers are not engaged in a profit-making activity would have a chilling effect on the documentary filmmaking industry as documentarians would no longer be able to claim deductions for their business expenses.” The brief was filed by entertainment attorney Michael C. Donaldson and Christopher L. Perez of Donaldson & Callif on a pro bono basis. Donaldson says “Even if it takes six years the making of a documentary in spite of educational and public good is also a business. The win is particularly important because the issue has rarely been addressed by a court in such a direct fashion. Perez says It's such an important decision.  Yes documentary filmmakers are beneficial to society because their films educate and expose.  But so many documentarians rely on their filmmaking to make a living - and they should be treated as such. ,3262
LiveAirShowTV Goes Behind the Scenes of Big Air Race,2012-05-01, LiveAirShowTV has announced that its newest feature video takes a behind the scenes look at the much anticipated IMAX film Air Racers 3D which launched a limited premiere last week. 

Principal photography for Air Racers 3D took place during the 2009 and 2010 Reno National Championship Air Races. LiveAirShowTV broadcast the Air Races Live in 2009 and provided daily race week and post-event video reports in 2010. This first look at Air Racers 3D includes writer producer and co-director Christian Fry talking about the production and some of the unique aspects of how it was made. Roaming the ramp at Reno and covering another crew shooting different aspects of the same thing was a lot of fun for our broadcast crew says Jeff Lee president of LiveAirShowTV. Being at Reno is really hard to explain to people. It’s something that gets inside of you. You just have to be there to experience it for yourself. Because of the film’s immersive 3D aspect Air Racers creates a starting point to help put people inside the incredible action at Reno.

 LiveAirShowTV co-producer Hans Kummer a veteran of IMAX and 3D production says I’ve been involved with several attempts to bring air racing to the giant screen and can attest to the complex production challenges. It has been a pleasure to interact with the Air Racers 3D film crew over the past few years and to witness their passion for aviation. I hope that the film serves as an inspiration to future generations of aviators and race fans. 

 Air Racers 3D is a co-production of 3D Entertainment USA & Pretend Entertainment in association with Stereoscope and is distributed by 3D Entertainment Distribution. It will have a staggered release in worldwide IMAX Theaters and 3D digital cinemas over the next three years. Advanced screenings have taken place internationally and it has opened at museum IMAX screens in Huntsville Alabama Pensacola Florida Columbus Georgia and Hutchinson Kansas. More theater launches are continually being announced including European locations.

Paul Walker star of The Fast and Furious franchise narrates the film as it takes audiences not only through the excitement of racing at Reno but educates them on the principles of flight and the history of air racing. I was privileged to see a near final version of the film at the Giant Screen Cinema Association conference held in Austin last September says Lee. It was a slightly strange sensation since I had just returned from Reno the night before and was still coping with witnessing the tragic crash of the P-51 Mustang Galloping Ghost. The 3D in this film is very real. It adds depth in the same way 3D was used to great effect in films like Avatar and Hugo. The racing scenes are staged for safety reasons but the excitement is still there. ,3263
Applications Open for Film Composing Competition,2012-05-01, The Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra Cleveland has announced the Film and Composer Competition. The annual compeition takes place in September. Filmmakers are randomly matched with film score composers who then compose a music score for the short film. This unique competition aims at bringing together filmmakers and composers for an exciting collaborative film and performance event. Final film and score selections will be screened and performed by the Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra in a live performance. The early deadline for applying is May 30; the late deadline in June 15. The competition is meant to be a win-win-win for all involved.  Filmmakers submit short films (14 minutes or less). Composers submit music samples. In the first round the selection committee picks a limited numbers of contestants. They are randomly matched with film score composers who then compose a music score for the short film. This unique competition aims at bringing together filmmakers and composers for an exciting collaborative film and performance event. Final round film and score selections will be screened and performed by the Ohio Philharmonic Orchestra in a live performance.  

 Click here to see competition details  ,3264
Benjamin Britten Opera to Screen in UK Movie Theatres,2012-05-01,Rising Alternative has announced the UK screening of Benjamin Britten’s most popular opera live from the world’s most prestigious opera house in collaboration with RAI. With a new production directed by the sensational Richard Jones and sporting a distinguished cast Peter Grimes live at La Scala promises to be an evening of psychological intensity evocative music and hard-edged realism. Interviewed by Time magazine the composer once described the opera’s subject as “very close to my heart – the struggle of the individual against the masses. The more vicious the society the more vicious the individual.” Set in a fictional English seaside village closely resembling Britten’s native Aldeburgh in Norfolk Peter Grimes tells of an ambitious local fisherman accused by the inhabitants of the Borough of the apparent murder of his boy apprentices a tale of social oppression and its tragic consequences. Regularly performed as a concert suite in the Four Sea Interludes Britten paints a sound-picture of the Norfolk seascape from Dawn and Sunday Morning to Moonlight and Storm the ever-changing forces of nature paralleling the increasing turmoil within Grimes’s own mind as the opera hastens to its conclusion. Heedless of his legal trial during the Prologue Grimes continues to physically abuse his new apprentice ultimately rejecting the love of widowed schoolmistress Ellen Orford and in turn his only hope of salvation from the menacing Borough. First performed in 1945 the homosexual undercurrent of the opera emphasized as directors have seen fit (Britten himself was openly gay) gives Peter Grimes a darker ‘immoral’ side deliberately left ambiguous by the composer. Supported by the eminent Christopher Purves and Felicity Palmer and with the extraordinarily young British conductor Robin Ticciati on the podium this exceptional production team will prove to the Italians just how well the United Kingdom can do opera courtesy of Benjamin Britten. Peter Grimes live from La Scala: in cinemas nationwide May 24. ,3265
RLJ Acquires Image Entertainment and Acorn Media Group,2012-05-01,Robert L. Johnson chairman of The RLJ Companies and founder of Black Entertainment Television has announced today that RLJ Acquisition has entered into agreements to acquire Image Entertainment and Acorn Media Group to create one of the largest independent distributors of digital and video content globally. The new combined company will be named RLJ Entertainment. Shares of the new company are expected to trade on the NASDAQ Stock Market. RLJ Entertainment where Johnson will serve as Executive Chairman and will leverage his substantial expertise in media consumer branding and strategic relationships to accelerate growth and drive value creation. “As executive chairman of RLJ Entertainment I am looking forward to this unique business combination of Image Entertainment and Acorn Media Group says Johnson.  RLJ Entertainment will have a broad strategy for financial growth by providing content to all media platforms including broadcast and cable DVD and Blu-Ray digital downloads and digital streaming. Image Entertainment is a leader in the urban independent film comedy and horror genres and Acorn Media Group founded by Peter Edwards who will serve as Vice Chairman of RLJ Entertainment is a dynamic brand-oriented company that provides engaging British drama such as the Agatha Christie library to its target audiences. I am excited to work with the management team to run a company that will increase the opportunity for independent and urban-oriented producers to reach a broader audience across the expanding number of media outlets.” In a growing demand for global content RLJ Entertainment will be well positioned by having a presence in the United States Canada Australia and the United Kingdom Johnson says. I believe combining Acorn Media Group with Image Entertainment under the RLJ Entertainment brand and with Bob Johnson as executive chairman provides us with a more robust content library and a larger platform for continued growth says Ted Green chairman and chief executive officer of Image Entertainment who will serve as the CEO of RLJ Entertainment after the completion of the business combination. I am thrilled that Acorn Media Group a company founded with a vision for British programming and a direct to consumer channel will become part of RLJ Entertainment says Miguel Penella CEO of Acorn Media Group.   We expect to greatly benefit from Bob Johnson's vision as we continue to acquire library content and build Acorn TV he says.