One of the hottest topics in Hollywood these days is Napster co-founder Sean Parker’s proposal called Screening Room. When I think of a screening room it looks something like the photograph that’s next to this paragraph. Apparently, when Parker thinks of a screening room, it’s basically my living room with a set-top box in it that I buy from him for $150. With that box I can then pay him $50 to save myself the trouble of driving to the theatre to see a first-run movie. The studios and most film directors are opposed. But a handful of directors and one exhibitor, AMC, reportedly support the idea. Many questions have been raised about the idea but mine is this: why not Netflix?
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The New York Film Critics Series has partnered with independent cinemas to present live, in-theater events. The next NYFCS U.S. event on March 16 and 17 will be preview screenings of The Confirmation with on screen appearances by Clive Owen, Jaeden Lieberher, and writer director Bob Nelson (Nebraska).
Fandango has acquired Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes, including the professional movie critic rating tool, the Tomatometer, from Warner Bros. Entertainment. The addition of Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes, along with Fandango’s recent acquisition of on-demand video service, M-Go, will expand the company’s theatrical ticketing business and create the industry’s premier digital network for all things movies.
The French independent film platform UniversCiné has selected Unified Streaming to create a platform that offers viewers more than 4000 independent films ranging from classics to contemporary hits of independent cinema.
Cinedigm has announced a deal with Christian comedienne, television host and author Chonda Pierce to host three one-hour episodes of Chonda Pierce Presents: Stand-Up For Families, which is expected to premiere exclusively on Cinedigm's Dove Channel in late March leading up to Easter.
The European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, and Russian film consultancy Nevafilm, are organizing a free conference January 27 during the 18th CSTB 2016 in Moscow. A networking drinks reception will follow the conference. The Observatory and Nevafilm will present their new report on the Russian television and video on demand market. This new report will be available free for download following the conference.
M-Go has unveiled a new monthly campaign called Movies that Matter. DreamWorks Animation and Technicolor created the video on demand service to reinforce their commitment to socially relevant films. The campaign will highlight a new film every month, beginning with the debut of the documentary film Imba Means Sing.
Cinedigm and Shout! Factory have agreed to expand their strategic partnership with a minority investment by Cinedigm and the announcement of plans to jointly re-launch Shout’s existing over-the-top digital channel, Shout! Factory TV, focused on classic television and movies in a SVOD and freemium AVOD model.
Digital video on demand service M-Go today announced the launch of its Bollywood collection. M-Go is a joint venture between DreamWorks Animation and Technicolor.
David Semel, who directs commercials through Accomplice Media, has a history of directing pilots that become hit television series. In his latest television outing, based on the award-winning Phillip K. Dick novel, The Man in the High Castle, Semel engages in a frightening, but enthralling, game of “What if?” Produced for Amazon by Ridley Scott the story is an alternate history set in the aftermath of World War II; in this telling, the Nazis and their Japanese allies were the victors. Semel directed the pilot, which is currently available through Amazon Prime’s instant video service.