WASHINGTON -- The New Zealand Parliament last night approved legislation that creates a new process for handling online content theft. The Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Bill requires Internet service providers (ISPs) to cooperate with copyright holders and codifies the steps they must take to respond to theft occurring on their networks. These measures range from forwarding rights owner-generated infringement notices to penalizing repeat offenders with damage fees and Internet account suspensions. The law will go into effect on September 1, 2011.

Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) issued the following statement:

"I applaud the New Zealand Government and Parliament for working together to create an enforceable, viable process for addressing P2P illegal file sharing - a pernicious drain on the creative workforce. The millions of men and women who work in our industry all across the world depend on the protection of their product to make a living. To them, content theft has real consequences. We all have a shared responsibility in the fight against digital theft, and this law goes a long way toward ensuring that the burden of illegal online activity - and the obligation to stop it - does not solely rest on the backs of our workers and their advocates."

 

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NEW YORK -- Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they will release Roman Polanski's new film, CARNAGE, in North America. Polanski penned the script with Yasmina Reza, which is adapted from Reza's 2009 Tony Award® winning play God of Carnage. CARNAGE is produced by Said Ben Said (THE WITNESSES, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN) and stars Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz and John C. Reilly. SPC expects an end of year release.

Sony Pictures Classics acquired the film from Said Ben Said and ICM's Jeff Berg.

Polanski assembled an all-star crew to work on CARNAGE, director of photographer Pawel Edelman (THE GHOST WRITER, RAY, THE PIANIST), production designer Dean Tavoularis (THE NINTH GATE, THE GODFATHER, THE OUTSIDERS), editor Herve de Luze (THE GHOST WRITER, WILD GRASS, TELL NO ONE), costume designer Milena Canonero (DARJEELING LIMITED, MARIE ANTOINETTE, A CLOCKWORK ORANGE) and composer Alberto Iglesias (TALK TO HER, VOLVER, THE CONSTANT GARDENER, THE KITE RUNNER).

Set in contemporary Brooklyn, New York, CARNAGE centers on two pairs of parents one of whose child has hurt the other at a public park, who meet to discuss the matter in a civilized manner. However, as the evening goes on, the parents become increasingly childish, resulting in the evening devolving into chaos.

"In today's world of moviemaking, Roman Polanski, his screenwriting partner Yasmina Reza, his cast, his crew, and his producer Said Ben Said represent the best of the best. We are so fortunate and pleased to bring CARNAGE, which promises to be an experience of intense emotion and hilarity, to the American audiences," states Sony Pictures Classics.

Said Ben Said and Sony Pictures Classics last worked together on the film I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG.

 

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LOS ANGELES -- Fandango, the nation's leading moviegoer destination and top mobile movie ticketing provider, is teaming up with top game app publisher Rovio and Twentieth Century Fox to provide U.S. show time info and ticketing capabilities for Fox's hit motion picture RIO from within the popular game, Angry Birds RIO.

RIO, already the world's top-grossing film of the week with an international box office take of approximately $55 million, opens in the U.S. tomorrow on Friday, April 15.

Starting today, Angry Birds apps for smartphones and tablets will link to Fandango's optimized mobile site, where fans can buy tickets for the movie, RIO, currently one of Fandango's top daily ticket-sellers.

Angry Birds RIO combines appearances from the Angry Birds with RIO's fine-feathered animated stars, and has ranked as the season's most downloaded app on iOs, Mac and Android.

The avidly-played aviary app, which has seen more than 10 million downloads in its first 10 days of release, was developed by Rovio in conjunction with Twentieth Century Fox.

"There's always been a huge crossover between film fans and the gamer audience," says Rick Butler, Chief Operating Officer and General Manager of Fandango. "We're thrilled to work with Fox and Rovio to exclusively provide another convenient way for fans to get tickets to one of the season's most highly-anticipated movies."

"As we gear up for the U.S. theatrical release of RIO this Friday, we're excited to work with Fandango and Rovio to give fans an easy and fun way to purchase tickets to this incredible film," says Peter Levinsohn, President of New Media and Digital Distribution for Fox Filmed Entertainment.

"We are pleased by the runaway success of Angry Birds RIO, as we continue to increase our footprint in Hollywood," says Mikael Hed, CEO of Rovio. "We're happy to work with Fox and Fandango to make it easy for the fans to be able to see the excitement of the movie RIO up on the big screen."

Moviegoers purchasing a RIO movie ticket on Fandango via the Angry Birds RIO app will be entered into a sweepstakes, launching today and offering the chance to win one of five iPad 2s.

 

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Washington, D.C. -- 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.

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 VOD" 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.

This statement may be attributed to:

John Fithian
President & CEO
NATO

 

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New York, NY -- Screenvision, the leading innovator in cinema advertising, continues its mission to bring the best from the world of fine arts to movie theaters as it will present the New York Philharmonic's all-new, star-studded 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 famed Avery Fisher Hall to its North American digital cinema network for a limited number of engagements beginning June 15.

This sold-out engagement of Company includes an all-star cast of television and stage heavyweights. Headlining the production 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. 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," said 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," said 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."

With music and lyrics by Stephen 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. For additional information and ticketing, visit www.companyonscreen.com.

 

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