Spotlight Forms Exhibitor Relations Department

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Wed, 04/13/2011 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

The cinema ad company Spotlight Cinema Networks has formed a dedicated exhibitor relations department.
 The cinema advertising market has been very receptive to Spotlight since its launch last year.  Given this success we felt that this was the right time to launch an exhibitor relations department and bring aboard Ronnie Ycong as vice president ” says company president Jerry Rakfeldt. “Ronnie is one of the most experienced exhibitor relations executives in the U.S. and will lead the development of key niches to drive our growth.”
Prior to joining Spotlight Ycong was director of exhibitor relations at Screenvision where he was charged with maintaining and growing its exhibitor network. “I am excited about the opportunity with Spotlight and to work with a team focused on bringing a new approach to the cinema space ” says Ycong. ,2355
El Chico Blanco Production to start in June,2011-04-14, Titan Worldwide Entertainment will begin shooting the El Chico Blanco in June it was announced by chairman and CEO Brad Feinstein. 

El Chico Blanco tells the story of Ben Harper a white outcast raised in the barrio rises to a position of power against all odds. During a stint in prison he overcomes racial tension and biases to become the head of a notorious crime family entering into a world of drugs wealth and power. The film will be shot on location in New Mexico. 

The film was written by Peter Facinelli (Twilight Saga Nurse Jackie) and will be directed by Carl Franklin (Out of Time High Crimes). This is the third film that Facinelli has written. His first Loosie’s (which he also stars in) is currently in post-production. In addition to playing the lead role of Ben Harper Facinelli’s production company Facinelli Films will serve as co-producers on the picture. “The volatile drug world of El Chico Blanco has themes of temptation and corruption that have intrigued me for some time now ” says Franklin. “I look forward to collaborating with Peter and Titan to bring this riveting story to life.” “I’m thrilled to be teaming up with Brad and Titan Worldwide Entertainment and am excited to get started on production ” says Facinelli. “Carl’s vision is perfectly in keeping with my script and I look forward to filming this as soon as I wrap on Breaking Dawn.” 

The film is being financed internally by Titan Worldwide Entertainment. Hyde Park Entertainment will be handling all foreign sales for the picture. ,2356
AAM to Digitize more than 500 Screens in The Netherlands,2011-04-29,Arts Alliance Media has announced that it has reached a deal with exhibitors and distributors in The Netherlands to transition the Dutch film industry to digital cinema. Under the agreement more than 500 screens across the country from small art-house venues to larger chains’ cinemas will be converted to digital. Cinema Digitaal is a not-for-profit organisation formed by the Dutch Association of Cinema Exhibitors (NVB) the Association of Film Distributors (NVF) and EYE Film Institute Netherlands. Operating as a central management entity Cinema Digitaal is in control of the digitization project ensuring support for all exhibitors during the switchover. The scheme is partly funded by the Dutch government through a grant from PRIMA (Project Implementation ICT Agenda) and the Netherlands Film Fund (Nederlands Fonds voor de Film) and aims at digitizing the majority of the country’s cinema screens. All independents and circuits with the exception of Pathe Euroscoop and Utopolis are part of Cinema Digitaal. The rollout will be based on the VPF model with AAM managing collection and administration of VPF payments. Under the deal Arts Alliance Media will be the scheme’s exclusive integrator – providing installing and maintaining the equipment as well as providing VPF financing. AAM has VPF deals in place with five Hollywood studios and is in negotiations with the 14 member independent distributors of the NVF to sign up to VPF agreements to finance the rollout. Ron Sterk managing director of the NVB and managing director of Cinema Digitaal said “This agreement is the result of sector wide effort to achieve a fast efficient transition to digital cinema. We are very happy that all cinemas multiplexes and art-house will be able to benefit from the advantages of digital projection.” Michael Lambrechtsen managing director of the NVF said “Through this scheme distributors will secure their area of distribution for the widest possible range of both art-house and mainstream titles in the Netherlands. Arts Alliance Media CEO Howard Kiedaisch said “Arts Alliance Media has always tried to make digital cinema deals that work for every exhibitor and the Cinema Digitaal initiative is a ground-breaking way of the industry working together and we’re delighted to be a part of it. The model of the industry leading the switch to digital itself is one we hope will be replicated in other territories.” Giovanni Dolci Arts Alliance Media’s strategy & business development executive added “It’s very exciting to see distributors and exhibitors cooperating to achieve a joint solution which will allow the whole country to benefit from digital cinema. The NVB and NVF have both worked hard to reach this agreement and we’re thrilled that they have chosen AAM to implement the rollout. This will be a great real-life example of how the VPF model can be viable for many different exhibitors.” All the participating cinemas will have DCI-compliant digital projection equipment supplied and installed by Arts Alliance Media which will also be upgradeable to 3D and satellite. The rollout is expected to begin during spring 2011. ,2360
Christie Kitchener Headquarters Wins Green Award,2011-04-29,For the second consecutive year Christie has been named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers by the editors of Mediacorp Canada a Toronto publishing firm. The winners were announced April 22. “Christie is honored to receive this award and it is a reflection of our commitment to the preservation of the environment today and for future generations ” said Gerry Remers president and chief operating officer Christie Digital Systems Canada. “We have numerous initiatives in place that are reducing our environmental footprint and will continue to explore new options for recycling and the reduction of waste.”   Each employer was evaluated by: (1) the unique environmental initiatives and programs they have developed; (2) the extent to which they have been successful in reducing the organization's own environmental footprint; (3) the degree to which their employees are involved in these programs and whether they contribute any unique skills; and (4) the extent to which these initiatives have become linked to the employer's public identity and whether they attract new people to the organization.   The environmental initiatives Christie has undertaken include: Achieving a greater than 82 percent waste diversion rate at the Canadian manufacturing facility through effective management of recycle streams including electronic waste and organics (food waste)  Employing an innovative heat recovery system to recycle heat from its manufacturing processes to heat the facility in the fall winter and spring Introducing a new environmental metric showing C02 emissions/standard cost of goods produced as an indicator of the overall efficiency of the company. The metric shows a significant improvement in overall operational and environmental efficiency Solar film on all south-facing windows to reduce solar gain in the summer months and reflect heat back inside the plant in the winter A program where employees can purchase local organic food Carpooling and employee environmental awareness programs Successfully registering two manufacturing plants to the internationally recognized environmental standard ISO 14001 Products that are among the highest lumen per watt output efficiency for 3‐chip DLP projectors  Continuing to introduce energy-efficient products and expand on environmentally friendly solid state LED illumination technology Canada’s Greenest Employer Awards will be presented at the MaRS Collaboration Center in Toronto on May 30.   Christie Digital Systems ,2364
UFO Moviez to Participate in Cinema India Expo 2011,2011-04-29,Cinema India Expo 2011 the only Hollywood-Bollywood event of its kind has announced the participation of UFO Moviez India Limited in its eleventh edition to be held June 24-25 at the Renaissance Convention Centre Powai Mumbai. UFO will create the UFO 3D theatre where the latest 3D content will be screened during the course of the two-day conference and trade fair. UFO has rolled out its 3D initiative to convert the existing 2D screens to 3D screens in India significantly expanding business prospects for the Indian Film Industry while offering audiences a wider range of entertainment. UFO played a key role in bringing the Indian Premier League 2010 cricket tournament live in HD to 700 theatres across India with the finals and semi-finals screened in 3D.  UFO is planning on bringing more 3D screens and is commercializing its technology to the theatres in India to deliver flexible efficient and cost-effective 3D Digital Cinema Systems. UFO plans to roll out 1250 screens byMarch 2013. Kapil Agarwal joint managing director UFO Moviez India said “We are extremely thrilled to be associated with Cinema India Expo 2011 as it is a platform leading to innovation value and choice for the Indian film industry. India is gearing up for a digital transition and we believe that such forums provide the platform for focused and directed change. UFO is proud to showcase its game changing 3D capabilities and innovative business model at this forum giving all a slice of the new wave of change in technology.” For over a decade Cinema India Expo has been India’s leading trade show and conference for the digital cinema industry in India and worldwide. It is a two-day gathering of the global digital cinema community for face-to-face product exploration networking and creative content programming that addresses digital cinema in India and around the world. Formerly held in conjunction with PALM Expo Cinema India Expo has now grown significantly and will be presented separately beginning from 2011. As the thriving Bollywood production community presents and creates an increasing amount of 3D content Cinema India continues to lead the industry with information from experts and insights into the latest environments for these evolving technologies. Scrabble Entertainment India's first 2K DCI compliant cinema deployment company is the presenting sponsor of Cinema India Expo 2011. Ranjit Thakur CEO Scrabble said “Since Scrabble is the only 2K DCI compliant entity in India and UFO Moviez has the largest non-DCI cinema platform we are glad to come together to represent the industry and escalate our businesses to an all new level. Forums such as Cinema India Expo and the Scrabble Digital Initiative are the perfect impetus to the business.” Createasphere headquarted in Los Angeles California returns to Cinema India Expo for the second year to manage international sales and programming. Createasphere provides multi-tiered offerings to the entertainment technology sector including expos events professional educational sessions and online content resource.    ,2365
Content Film Acquires the Rights to 96 Minutes,2011-04-29,Content has acquired international rights to SXSW’s critically acclaimed 96 Minutes. Inspired by true events the intense drama is written and directed by Aimee Lagos winner of many awards including a BAFTA Award for Excellence for her short film Underground.   The film stars a young cast including Brittany Snow (Prom Night Hairspray) Evan Ross (90210 ATL) Christian Serratos (Twilight Series) Jonathan Michael Trautmann and David Oyelowo (Derailed Last King of Scotland). Ross won the Jury Award for Breakthrough Performance at the South By Southwest Film Festival last month.   Produced by First Point Entertainment’s Lee Clay Perfect Weekend’s Justin Moore-Lewy and Charlie Mason Katonah Pictures’ Dan Abrams and Paul Gilreath the thriller is about a day in the life of four young people caught up in a terrifying carjacking.   “We’re thrilled to be working with Content Media ” Justin Moore-Lewy co-founder at Venice-based Perfect Weekend said. ’96 Minutes is a labor of love for us – a coming-of-age story that tackles tough issues of class divide and themes that audiences around the world can relate to. We have every confidence that Jamie and his team will bring unique opportunities based on their excellent relationships in the international film markets.”   Content president Carmichael said “We were really taken by Aimee’s compelling direction and the outstanding performances of her young cast – and we’re delighted to be working with Lee Justin Charlie Dan and Paul on such a high quality project.” ,2367
Cameron Chose Doremi Server for 3D Frame-Rate Demo,2011-04-29,At last month’s CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas Oscar-winning filmmaker James Cameron demonstrated the impact of higher frame-rate content production and delivery can have on future films. The demonstration entailed a 3D clip that was presented in 24fps 48pfs and 60pfs and used a Doremi server. These higher frame rates open a new dimension for filmmakers ” Cameron said adding “For the next two Avatar movies I want to display a higher frame rate 48 or 60 frames per second. I fully intend to make the rest of my movies at a higher frame rate. “Since inception it has been our company’s vision not only to comply with the industry’s standards but to also be one step ahead by offering future proof solutions. I believe that the spectacular demonstration by James Cameron attests to that vision ” said Michael Archer vice president of Doremi Cinema. ,2369
FTT and XDC to Implement Digital Rollout for FSF Cinemas,2011-04-29, The German-based cinema group FSF and XDC have signed a preliminary agreement to convert FSF screens to digital under XDC’s virtual print fee funding plan. Film Ton Technik in Düsseldorf will carry out the installations. 
 Under the terms of the agreement FSF will equip their theatres Düsseldorf Recklinghausen and Stuttgart with 2L DLP digital cinema systems. Installations for the first screens will start in May. The remaining ones are to be completed by the end of 2011. 
   The FSF group operates the three UFA cinemas in Stuttgart Düsseldorf Dresden as well as Cineworld Recklinghausen. The FSF operating company emerged from the UFA cinema group and is currently managed by the Riech family. 
   “The decision for XDC’s VPF was well considered ” says Marianne Riech general manager of FSF GmbH. According to her statement UFA believes in digital cinema as one keystone for running a successful cinema business. “XDC‘s VPF model is the most convenient one for our special purpose.”
 Thomas Rüttgers general manager of FTT said “We have known each other for years as we are both Düsseldorf-based companies with a longstanding family tradition. Therefore we are happy to assist UFA with taking their next step into the future.”
   However not only FTT but also XDC has a common track record with UFA. Serge Plasch XDC’s CEO said “When XDC started its first deployments in Germany several years ago UFA cinemas were among those pioneers that tested digital cinema equipment and we are proud to be awarded with carrying out this important transition for them.”
 All screens will be equipped with Barco Series 2 DCI-compliant digital projectors and Doremi servers. The systems will be connected to XDC’s Network Operations Center which will perform the hotline support and the preventive remote maintenance. ,2371
IndiePix Launches Subscription Streaming Site,2011-04-29,IndiePix has launched IndiePix Unlimited an Internet-based subscription video-on-demand store offering the widest specialist subscription-streaming platform for independent films. For a small ongoing subscription fee IndiePix Unlimited customers can choose and instantly view more than 200 independent films - growing to 500 titles by early summer. The site will feature premiers for recent Venice Cannes Tribeca and Sundance award winning films and filmmakers - titles that are not available on any other streaming subscription site. It opened for consumer signups and film choices on April 19. Bob Alexander President of IndiePix said: We are very pleased with the response to this initiative from the independent film community. I want to single out our presenting sponsor the Los Angeles Times which has made a significant commitment to independent film through their ongoing editorial coverage sponsorship of the Los Angeles Film Festival and other key events and activities in Southern California and across the US. Launch Partners include Filmmaker Magazine who is making an important early contribution to the launch of this project. Also joining us as a Launch Partner Alexander notes is the prominent independent film website FilmSnobbery with whom we look forward to continuing collaborations as this project moves ahead. IndiePix is joined by 13 other blog and independent film web sites in the launch of IndiePix Unlimited. As a third party store Alexander explained our shelves are open to individual filmmakers especially those seeking an alternative for their 'do-it-yourself' distribution projects. We are also pleased to be working with prominent digital film rights aggregators and with other independent film labels directly. Digital rights aggregators have played an important role in the growth of the independent film digital distribution market by assembling large numbers of highly sought after films for digital stores like IndiePix Unlimited. In addition Alexander said we are in discussions with other independent film studios and producers that hold digital rights about joining us. There are a literally thousands of independent films produced each year and many hundreds of them have significant production credits festival awards and audiences. It is not the case that any existing digital store has a commanding share of independent films. In fact said Alexander several of the larger and more established stores have turned away from independent film in recent months as they expand their stores into episodic television programming formats. The quality and breadth of our content will be second to none Alexander claims as rights holders - individual and corporate domestic and international - discover the value to them of our platform. Announcements of participating independent film distributors and independent film content aggregators will be made over the launch period for Indiepix Unlimited. That launch period extends out over the next 10 weeks and closes with the Los Angeles Film Festival on June 30 2011. The opening of this site is an evolving project that will take full shape over the next few weeks Alexander said. IndiePix Unlimited ,2374
NATO Challenges Press Reports of Movie Boycotts,2011-04-29,The National Association of Theatre Owners does not and could not encourage its members to engage in any boycotts of any movies distributed by any company.  Recent press reports to the contrary are completely false. John Fithian NATO’s president and CEO issued the formal statement. In an article published on April 13 in The Guardian it was suggested that NATO indicated that cinema operators were prepared not to screen movies and specifically referenced the coming Harry Potter film.  No one from The Guardian contacted NATO before the original article was published.  At our request The Guardian did later change the article to remove the erroneous reference to the Harry Potter film. Then later on April 13 the blog Business Insider entitled Harry Potter 8 Dropped From Theaters? suggested that NATO “is threatening to drop some of this summer’s biggest blockbusters” and that “screens under NATO are threatening to boycott upcoming studio releases starting with Warner Bros. sure to be box office-gargantuan Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.”  Again these stories and others that have followed are completely false and no one from the organizations responsible for the stories contacted anyone at NATO. NATO has often articulated our concerns about the possible release of premium video-on-demand movies in an early window.  Our association issued statements on June 16 2010 and again on March 31 2011 regarding those concerns.  But as our 2010 statement made clear “individual theater companies must and will make decisions about release window changes in their own company’s interest.”  NATO cannot and will not make those decisions for them. ,2375
Odeon UCI Cinema Group Signs with XDC,2011-04-29, The Odeon and UCI Cinema Group Europe's largest cinema operator and XDC have reached an agreement for the deployment of digital cinema systems under XDC's virtual print fee funding plan.

 Drew Kaza executive vice president of digital development Odeon and UCI Cinema Group says We made the decision to go with XDC because they were able to tailor their VPF financing solution to meet our local needs and most importantly they have an established infrastructure in Portugal with excellent technical expertise and support. We are delighted to be working with them which allows us to concentrate our direct VPF deal approach on our other markets.

 Serge Plasch XDC's CEO and managing director says I am thrilled that we have reached agreement with the Odeon/UCI Cinema Group. As Europe's largest and most successful Exhibitors they set extremely high standards and precise terms for the service agreement I am very proud that XDC have met with their expectations and look forward to providing them with a fast efficient deployment and a high quality service.

 Under the terms of the agreement with XDC Odeon/UCI Cinema Group will have Series 2 DCI-compliant digital projection systems installed into three complexes totaling 45 screens. A content delivery network will also be implemented by XDC in order to allow distributors to deliver films directly by satellite and/or broadband connection to the cinemas as well as giving the opportunity to receive live 2D and 3D transmissions.

 All the systems will be connected to the XDC's network operations center which will perform the hotline support and the preventative remote maintenance.  The frontline support (with the possibility to have a full remote monitoring of the digital systems) will be directly managed by XDC's local integrator which will also take care of the installations and maintenance supported by XDC's NOC services. Odeon/UCI Cinemas are the third major Portuguese Exhibitor to contract with XDC. After this deployment is completed Portugal will be able to boast that it is one of the first European countries to go completely digital and a first total country for XDC as well. ,2376
Richard Crudo Named 2011 Kodak Cinematographer-in-Residence at UCLA,2011-04-29,Kodak and UCLA have named Richard Crudo the 2011 Kodak Cinematographer-in-Residence for the spring quarter at UCLA's School of Theater Film and Television. The residency course now in its 12th consecutive year was inaugurated by professor William McDonald with the support of Kodak to enhance the learning experience of students with insight from renowned cinematographers.   The mentorship program began with a free screening of one of Crudo's past works American Buffalo at the James Bridges Theater in Melnitz Hall on April 18. The screening is free and open to the public students staff and faculty members. A Q&A discussion with Crudo moderated by McDonald followed the screening. American Buffalo based on a play by David Mamet follows three small-time crooks who plot the robbery of a valuable coin collection. The film was directed by Michael Corrente and stars Dustin Hoffman Dennis Franz and Sean Nelson.   Richard Crudo is an innovative filmmaker who has assembled an impressive diverse list of credits McDonald says. This program provides an unparalleled opportunity for our students to gain insight into the art and craft of visual storytelling from this uniquely talented cinematographer.   UCLA TFT is the only film school that offers a cinematography residency program such as this where students can receive direct guidance from cinematographers through screenings workshops and one-on-one sessions over the course of 10 weeks.   Congratulations to Bill McDonald for taking this unique program to even greater levels of excellence says Teri Schwartz dean of the school. Richard Crudo is a gifted artist and a worthy addition to an already highly distinguished list of outstanding professionals. At TFT we are committed to offering students unprecedented access to the master storytellers of the entertainment industry and the Kodak Cinematographer in Residence program now in its second decade is a prime example of this approach. Crudo's feature credits include Federal Hill American Pie Music From Another Room Outside Providence Down To Earth Out Cold Brooklyn Rules It's Under My Skin and Pistol Whipped. He also directed the feature film Against the Dark. Crudo served three terms as president of the American Society of Cinematographers and is currently a vice president of the organization. Richard is a talented artist who can offer great insight to young filmmakers as they prepare to enter a very competitive industry says Lauren Lung vice president and general manager of Kodak's motion picture business in North and South America. Our dedication to supporting tomorrow's filmmakers is as steadfast as our commitment to further advancing the technology of film. ,2377
Blue Sky Credits NVIDIA for Dance Scenes in Rio ,2011-04-29, Filmmakers at Blue Sky Studios give credit to NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics tools for helping bring a cast of dancing characters to life in their new movie Rio. The film had the biggest debut of any movie in 2011 thus far coming in number one at the box office with a $40 million opening weekend. Rio stars a computer generated Macaw named Blu who ends up at the heart of a wild adventure in Rio de Janeiro with a cast of street-smart friends and foes. 
“After attending the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference I learned how other production studios were leveraging the capabilities of the NVIDIA Quadro GPU ” says Hugo Ayala Blue Sky Studios senior research associate. “With that knowledge we immediately set out to integrate advanced parallel processing capabilities into our workflow at Blue Sky.”
 Rio was animated and produced in stereoscopic 3D so reviewing image sequences required massive computing power. Ayala ported Blue Skys’ in-house viewing application called Roll to the GPU allowing Blue Sky artists to preview their renders in stereo. 
With the GPU optimization of Roll Blue Sky artists not only saved time but also reduced the amount of storage required to view frames since the need to process down-res create and store stereo pairs for viewing had been eliminated. “Without Quadro it would have been impossible for us to review full film resolution HDR images in stereo in real time ” says Ayala.
Crowds of CG characters are featured throughout the film to populate backgrounds and fill the stadium of the Sambadrome in a scene recreating Rio de Janeiro’s famed Carnival.   To create these crowd sequences the Blue Sky team modeled sixteen different body types and several other character variations that were then mixed and matched. 
 “With Quadro support when we had a sequence with tens hundreds even thousands of characters the colors of clothes and other features could be thoroughly art directed without having to wait for a render to see what the clothing distribution would look like across a large crowd ” says Ayala. “We were able to turn around up to a dozen crowd shots in a day—something that in the past would have taken several weeks to achieve.” 
 “NVIDIA promotes a collaborative exchange of ideas within the professional animation and visual effects community through our annual GPU Technology Conference and it’s rewarding to see how that’s paid off with Blue Sky ” says Dominick Spina digital film technology manager NVIDIA. “It’s amazing to see how far Blue Sky has advanced with their GPU integration and how much time the studio has saved by porting a few of their tools to run on Quadro.”
 Rio was completed in less than two years with a team that grew to 300 artists at its peak. For future animated film projects Blue Sky is looking to further integrate GPU-optimizations into its pipeline. “Our rendering process involves extensive ray tracing and we’re eager to explore how we might be able to leverage sparse voxel technology and port it to NVIDIA CUDA to run on a dedicated Quadro GPU render farm ” says Ayala. ,2378
Jumping the Broom to Premiere Mother's Day Weekend ,2011-04-29, Robert L. Johnson chairman of The RLJ Companies founder of Black Entertainment Television and founder and CEO of Our Stories Films has announced that their new film Jumping the Broom will premiere on Mother’s Day weekend. The movie was produced by Tracey E. Edmonds and is being released by TriStar a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company. It tells an inspirational and positive story of two very different families who meet for the first time at a weekend wedding in Martha's Vineyard. Through multi-faceted storylines the film explores the family dynamics of marriage and reminds us of the bonds that keep families strong. Tracey is the president and COO of Our Stories Films where she oversees the development and production of projects for urban audiences. She is very talented and has a strong creative vision says Johnson. I trust her direction in telling the memorable stories people want to see and know that audiences will truly enjoy this new film and will closely relate to the story. We were also pleased to collaborate with Bishop T.D. Jakes who is very committed to supporting family oriented films. We are excited to bring this romantic family comedy featuring some of the top talent in the industry to a nationwide audience says producer Edmonds. The positive feedback on this very funny emotional and uplifting story has been exceptional. We are certain that the relationship and familial issues explored will resonate with all and hope that audiences everywhere will fall in love with this film as much as we did creating it. ,2379
Screenvision to Present Company Performance in June,2011-04-29, Screenvision will present the New York Philharmonic’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical Company. Through an arrangement with Ellen M. Krass Productions and the New York Philharmonic Screenvision will bring the special performance recorded live in New York at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall to its North American digital cinema network for a limited number of engagements beginning June 15.
 Headlining the cast are (in alphabetical order):  Craig Bierko Stephen Colbert Jon Cryer Katie Finneran Neil Patrick Harris Christina Hendricks Aaron Lazar Patti LuPone Jill Paice Martha Plimpton Anika Noni Rose Jennifer Laura Thompson Jim Walton and Chryssie Whitehead. With music and lyrics by Sondheim and a book by George Furth Company follows five couples and their bachelor friend Robert (Harris) exploring the true meaning of being in a relationship through a series of vignettes.   Sondheim specialist Paul Gemignani conducts the New York Philharmonic with Jonathan Tunick’s original orchestrations. Lonny Price is the director; Josh Rhodes is the choreographer; Lonny Price and Matt Cowart are the producers and Ellen M. Krass is the executive producer. Company marks the latest addition to Screenvision’s alternate content strategy designed to bring events from the worlds of fine arts sports children’s programming and engaging documentary programming to the movie theater environment.  These events are designed to help exhibitor partners maximize attendance during off-peak weeknights while providing patrons across North America an opportunity to experience captivating programming to which they otherwise would not likely have access.
  “Through the partnership with Ellen M. Krass Productions and the New York Philharmonic we’re thrilled to bring a show of this caliber to Screenvision exhibitor partners and their patrons ” says Darryl Schaffer executive vice president operations and exhibitor relations for Screenvision. “Screenvision remains committed to bringing appealing alternative programming opportunities to theaters nationwide.”
 “We are gratified to be able to share our production of Company with audiences in movie theaters across North America thanks to this arrangement with Screenvision through Ellen M. Krass Productions ” says Zarin Mehta president and executive director of the New York Philharmonic. “We are always looking for ways to bring our music to the greatest number of people such as through our iTunes Pass and our weekly internationally syndicated radio series and this is one more innovative way to do so.” ,2380
Spice Shop Buys First Baselight 2 Control Surface,2011-04-29,Spice Shop Bangkok has become the first post-production facility worldwide to purchase the new Blackboard 2 control surface for Baselight. FilmLight debuted Blackboard 2 at last month’s NAB convention in Las Vegas. 
“When we saw Blackboard 2 we understood immediately the impact it would have on our business and our facility and we knew we had to have it ” says Spice Shop director of operations Matthew Szabo. “We were amazed by the possibilities that this new grading panel offers.”
 Spice Shop offers complete post-production services for high-end advertising clients throughout Southeast Asia. In addition to Blackboard 2 Spice Shop has purchased a Baselight Four color grading system a Baselight Assist a Baselight Kompressor media accelerator system and Truelight-On-Set FilmLight’s industry-leading on-set color grading and dailies processing system. Together the FilmLight technology provides Spice Shop with a color grading solution that extends from the set through delivery and integrates seamlessly with its editorial visual effects and finishing operations. Spice Shop will complete the installation of all systems including Blackboard 2 and be fully operational in early summer.
 “Spice Shop is establishing as the most advanced post-production services provider in its market and has recognized how Blackboard 2 fits with that position ” says FilmLight head of marketing Mark Burton. “Blackboard 2 gives them a decisive edge today and going forward provides them with a unique ability to accommodate new features and new innovations that will further contribute to Spice Shop’s success.” ,2382
Creative Community Speaks Out in Favor of Longer Release Window ,2011-04-29, Twenty-three leading directors and producers called into question plans to shorten the current model of theatrical release windows in an open letter to be published Thursday April 21 in an industry trade publication. The letter is the first public step in an ongoing effort by theatre owners to air the concerns of all movie industry stakeholders in the release window issue.

 In light of the imminent launch by some studios of a premium video-on-demand service that would radically shorten the current average four-month 12 day window between the opening of a film theatrically and its release to the home market the filmmakers chose to speak out.

 “As a crucial part of a business that last year grossed close to $32 billion in worldwide theatrical ticket sales ” the letter states “we in the creative community feel that now is the time for studios and cable companies to acknowledge that a release pattern for premium video-on-demand that invades the current theatrical window could irrevocably harm the financial model of our film industry.”

 The letter also details a variety of concerns that the creative community has over announced premium VOD release plans that could negatively alter consumer buying habits exacerbate film piracy and severely limit the ability of theatre owners to play specialty films in platform release patterns. 

 You can argue about VOD windows all day long but what you can't deny is that there is an overwhelming outcry from the theatre owners that they feel threatened by this ” said director James Cameron (Terminator Titanic Avatar).  “The cinema experience is the wellspring of our entire business regardless of what platforms we trickle down to. If the exhibitors are worried I'm worried. We should be listening to them.  Why on earth would you give audiences an incentive to skip the highest and best form of your film? My films aren't going to the home early but many will and that will weaken the movie theatre industry—and then my movies are threatened.

 Director Karyn Kusama (Girlfight Aeon Flux Jennifer’s Body) said “As someone who hopes to have the ability to keep making small movies alongside the opportunity to make some bigger ones I am concerned by how much a shortened VOD window might affect a filmmaker like me. This shortened window might imperil the robustness and challenge the already shrinking flexibility in programming of the very venue that makes movie-making and movie-watching the work we choose to do.”

 Producer Jamie Patricof (Half Nelson Blue Valentine) stated “The theatrical window is a crucial component in bringing a film to the marketplace especially for a smaller movie that relies on word of mouth.   If moviegoers assume they don't have to go to the theatre to catch something that has great word-of-mouth they most likely will not.” Over the last several months National Association of Theatre Owners executives have met with a broad range of film industry professionals on those issues. “The directors and producers we’ve talked to are passionate filmmakers and very informed business people who care deeply about their art and craft ” John Fithian president and CEO of NATO said “Whether they are the makers of blockbusters or independent films Oscar winners or just starting their careers all have expressed extreme concern over announced plans to shorten the distribution window and stated their desire that films can be seen in the venues they were made to be seen in: movie theatres.” ,2383
Cineplex and Empire form Canadian Digital Cinema Partnership,2011-04-29,Cineplex Entertainment and Empire Theatres Limited have formed the Canadian Digital Cinema Partnership to plan and implement the deployment of digital projection equipment in the two partner's theatres. The plan will include procuring equipment arranging financing and securing digital deployment agreements with studios and other content providers. Cineplex Entertainment and Empire Theatres Limited have appointed Blackstone Advisory Partners as their financial and structuring advisor for CDCP. Blackstone will assist CDCP with the evaluation and development of a financing plan to convert its more than 1 600 35mm projectors to digital projection systems. The Bank of Nova Scotia will act as Lead Arranger for CDCP's financing. Digital Cinema Implementation Partners has agreed in principle to provide administrative services and system support to CDCP in connection with its digital deployment in Canada. DCIP has itself deployed more than 7 000 digital projection systems to theatres in the United States and Canada during the past year. CDCP has entered into long-term digital deployment agreements with three studios including Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Brothers Entertainment for CDCP's deployment of digital projection systems. CDCP continues its discussions with other major US and Canadian distributors with additional announcements expected soon. ,2389
ASG Hosts Animation Workshop,2011-05-14, Advanced Systems Group will present an animation and compositing tools workshop on May 25th. Focused on computer animation compositing and visual effects software the free event will include in-depth product demonstrations and workshops.
  “This workshop will explore various creation software tools and offer advanced tips and tricks for animators ” says Dave Van Hoy president of ASG. “It’s a unique opportunity to learn about modernized pipelines for improved workflows as well as interact with the technology experts who provide the tools that empower today’s computer animation artists.” 
  Developed for animators compositors editors modelers riggers and producers the workshop will include a panel discussion from the Visual Effects Society and explore motion capture for 3D character animation digital sculpting and texture painting. Some of the area’s best artists will offer live demos of Autodesk Maya Motion Builder Mudbox and 3ds Max as well as Adobe After Effects Apple Motion and more. The event will also showcase a robust and highly scalable render management solution that can be quickly integrated into any production workflow plus a file transfer solution that enables large data set transfers over any network at maximum speed source disk to destination disk regardless of network conditions or distance.
  For registration and more information visit ,2390
Barco Expands Financing Program with Cinedigm,2011-05-14, Barco has expanded its financing program with Cinedigm recently completing another $15 million in funding to provide off-balance sheet non-recourse financing for exhibitors converting their projection equipment to digital cinema platforms. This latest round of funding will convert 249 full digital cinema systems.  “Barco has consistently and repeatedly fulfilled their commitments to exhibitors ” says Chuck Goldwater president of Cinedigm Media Services Group. “They have delivered and installed the highest quality digital systems and provided invaluable financing which has enabled over a thousand Cinedigm-financed exhibitor deals to be completed under Cinedigm's VPF program. Our turnkey solution which is supported by long-term agreements with all the major studios is unmatched in the industry today. We are proud of the many successes we have achieved together with our partners at Barco and look forward to many more to come.” 

 While the benefits and increased revenue opportunities of converting from film to digital are clear many exhibitors have discovered that funding the conversion from film to digital equipment can be elusive and challenging. 

 “From the outset Barco promised full financing delivery and installation of over 300 systems in just 15 weeks and they delivered on each and every promise they made. While they are already known for providing the brightest and highest quality projectors on the market Barco's integrity and execution truly set them apart. We could not have found a better partner ” says Peter A. Nelson executive vice president and chief operations officer for Rave Motion Pictures the Dallas Texas-based national theater chain. 

 “As a strong fiscally responsible company we have the means to provide the full and complete solutions our customers are asking for ” says Patrick Lee vice president digital cinema for Barco North America. “Full cost recoupment VPF models like Cinedigm's are the gold standard in the industry and our customers won't settle for promises of partial VPF amounts that only cover a fraction of the costs.” 
Blitz-CineStar Names Barco as Exclusive Projector Partner,2011-05-14, Croatian exhibitor Blitz-CineStar has selected Barco as exclusive digital cinema projector partner. Within the space of a year the cinema chain will transform all of its ten multiplexes to state-of-the-art digital cinema complexes. Last month Croatian cinema chain Blitz-CineStar inaugurated its brand-new all digital flagship multiplex in Zagreb's prestigious new Arena Center. It is located in the capital of Croatia and is equipped with ten Barco DP2K digital cinema projectors. In addition Blitz-CineStar operates nine other multiplexes that the company is converting to digital with the help of Barco.  “A full conversion to digital cinema was a must for an ambitious chain like Blitz-CineStar ” says Hrvoje Krstulovic Blitz-CineStar board member. “The bar had been raised very high both for quality and the timeframe: we wanted a technology partner that could offer a reliable high-quality and future-proof digital solution for all our multiplexes within the space of just a year.” 

 After carefully examining the available digital cinema projectors Blitz-CineStar selected Barco's DP2K series. The cinema chain ordered all of the different DP2K projector types each one tailored to fit the auditorium and screen size. “This approach helped us save costs while providing us with the perfect set-up to meet our varying needs ” says Krstulovic. 

With the rollout being halfway Blitz-CineStar can already see the benefits. “Movies and cinema are our passion so we don't settle for anything less than the best technology. Barco has met or even exceeded our expectations. They succeeded in meeting the tight deadlines and the image quality is beyond compare. In this way they really help Blitz-CineStar deliver the exciting cinema experience that we always dreamt of ” says Krstulovic. ,2393
SR Entertainment Group Signs VPF Deal with Cinedigm ,2011-05-14,The SR Entertainment Group has signed a long-term virtual print fee deployment agreement with Cinedigm chose to deploy 81 Cinedigm-certified screens across six existing sites with completion expected by the end of this summer. SR Entertainment says it will exclusively deploy Barco digital cinema projectors.  The sites are located in the San Francisco Bay Area California's Central Valley and Southern California. “We are excited that our digital deployment with Cinedigm will allow us to bring our audiences the latest in theatrical and alternative entertainment coupled with the best presentation achievable ” says Dan Tocchini president and CEO of SR Entertainment Group.  “Cinedigm has a strong track record and I look forward to our partnership with them for years to come.” “For over 85 years the Tocchini family has set the standard for excellence in exhibition in the Northern California area ” says Chuck Goldwater president Cinedigm’s Media Services Group.  “We are delighted that SR Entertainment Group has selected Cinedigm to help guide their transition to digital cinema and preserve that proud family tradition of excellence for many more years to come.” SR Entertainment Group ,2395
Calcaterra Named Cinedigm Chief Marketing Officer,2011-05-14,Cinedigm Digital Cinema has named Jill Newhouse Calcaterra chief marketing officer. She will report directly to Chris McGurk chairman and CEO. The appointment was effective May 1. “We are entering a new and exciting era where Cinedigm can fully leverage the digital cinema platform for targeted distribution research and alternative content ” said McGurk. “Given her track record and relationships Jill is the perfect person to guide Cinedigm’s overall marketing initiatives and industry outreach.” “I’m honored and excited to be a part of the Cinedigm team at a time of amazing growth and evolution in the entertainment industry ” said Calcaterra.  “Having served as an advisor to the company for the last four years I’m confident that we’re clearly positioned to benefit from all that digital cinema deployment enables including alternative content precision marketing research software analytics and focused distribution.” In her capacity as CMO and member of the management committee Calcaterra will manage corporate marketing investor relations and public relations for all Cinedigm divisions including the entertainment group software digital media services UniqueScreen Media and digital cinema deployment. Additionally she will manage the company’s consumer-facing marketing and promotions programs for alternative content and special events.  ,2396
Cinema India Expo to Feature 4K Technology Demo,2011-05-14,Cinema India Expo which will be held June 24 and 25 at the Renaissance Convention Centre Powai Mumbai will feature a demonstration of the latest 4K technology as a part of the Scrabble Digital Initiative. Cinema India Expo 2011 is a stand-alone conference and tradeshow for the digital cinema industry in India and worldwide. It is a two-day gathering of the global digital cinema community for face-to-face product exploration networking and creative content programming that addresses digital cinema in India and around the world. Top content creators packagers and distributors in digital cinema are expected to attend. The conversion of the Indian cinema screens to digital technology is under way at a rapid pace opening up a potential $200 million equipment market in India as per the findings of market research conducted by Cinema India. An estimated 6000 e-cinema screens and 700 DCI-compliant cinema screens are expected to be installed in India by the end of 2011. Cinema India Expo 2011 ,2397
Cinemark Installing Closed Captioning in all Theatres,2011-05-14, Cinemark will provide a closed captioning option for people who are deaf or have significant hearing loss in all of its first-run theatres.  Cinemark is installing captioning systems on a rolling basis across its circuit in conjunction with the chain's conversion to an all-digital format.  Installation started early this year and about half of Cinemark’s theaters in California already have captioning capability.  Cinemark will be able to offer closed captioning at all of its first-run theaters by mid 2012. Movie captions convey the dialogue narration musical cues and key sound effects speaker identification and other auditory information in the form of written text for those viewers who have significant difficulty hearing the movie sound track.  Closed captions are relayed—in sync with the movie—only to members of the audience who choose to receive them via a personal display device. The captions are not visible on the screen to the rest of the audience. The Association of Late-Deafened Adults an advocacy group for those with who have lost some or all of their hearing applauded Cinemark's commitment.  Cinemark has worked closely with ALDA in setting the timetable for installation of captioning capability in California.  ALDA also agreed to dismiss a lawsuit the organization filed in late 2010 over captioning issues in Cinemark’s California theatres.  They were represented by Sid Wolinsky and Kevin Knestrick of Disability Rights Advocates a non-profit legal center headquartered in Berkeley California and John Waldo an attorney whose practice focuses on the needs of those with hearing loss. “We are pleased with Cinemark’s support for captioning.  This decision makes first-run movies available to millions of patrons who are deaf and hard-of-hearing in California.  They deserve to participate in this quintessential American experience ” said Knestrick.   “We want to commend Cinemark for the prompt and cooperative way it resolved this case ” Waldo said.  Linda Drattell a plaintiff in the case said “I am delighted that around this time next year people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing will be able to watch first-run movies at Cinemark theaters throughout California.” Cinemark selected the CaptiView Closed Caption Viewing System from Burbank-based Doremi Cinemas to transmit the closed captions to audience members who desire the assistance of captioning.  CaptiView provides captioning to those who have significant difficulty hearing the movie soundtrack via an OLED display on a bendable support arm that fits into the theater seat cup holder.  This device provided to movie patrons upon request operates on an internal wireless system and can be used in any seat in the theatre.  The OLED screen provides exceptionally clear captions. The device is also equipped with a privacy visor which ensures that the captioning has no impact on neighboring movie patrons.   Cinemark was pleased to collaborate with ALDA ” said Michael Cavalier general counsel and senior vice president of Cinemark USA Inc.  “The conversion to digital cinema has facilitated the development of closed captioning systems like CaptiView.  We now have a platform that makes full implementation of a captioning system viable.  Cinemark has worked closely with our suppliers to make certain that we are providing the highest quality closed caption system.” Laura Franze a partner with the law firm of Hunton & Williams who represented Cinemark in working out the settlement with ALDA said “Cinemark has long recognized the importance of making the movies it exhibits accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences and has supported captioning in different forms for many years.  With the conversion to digital cinema and the development of digital closed captioning systems like CaptiView Cinemark was moving ahead to full implementation of closed captioning even before this lawsuit was filed.” Michael Archer vice president of Digital Cinema at Doremi said When we began the in-house design of the CaptiView product two years ago we worked closely with Cinemark our long-term partner to create a viable high-quality product that displays closed captions for digital cinema.  We are pleased to have this opportunity to work with Cinemark to provide captioned movies to their patrons across the country.