WASHINGTON - President Obama today nominated Commerce Secretary Gary F. Locke as the next American Ambassador to China. The following is a statement by Bob Pisano, President and Chief Operating Officer of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) in support of the nomination.

"Secretary Locke has a strong record in support of American workers and businesses whose livelihoods are dependent on exports. And, he has an outstanding record of championing intellectual property rights.
As Ambassador to China, he will be an important advocate in a nation where the theft and illegal distribution of American movies, television shows, music, software and other forms of intellectual property is a major threat to American competitiveness. Likewise, he will help lead efforts to ensure that the Chinese marketplace is opened up to American products that face far too many restrictions.

We look forward to working with Secretary Locke in his new role on these issues that are so critical to the film and television industry and its 2.4 million employees."


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Washington, D.C. -- Russell Brand will receive the "CinemaCon Comedy Star of the Year Award," it was announced today by Mitch Neuhauser, managing director of CinemaCon, which will be held March 28-31, 2011, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Brand will be presented with this special honor at the inaugural "CinemaCon Big Screen Achievement Awards" ceremony to take place on Thursday evening, March 31st, in The Colosseum of Caesars Palace. The Coca-Cola Company, Official Presenting Sponsor of CinemaCon, will host the final night gala awards program.

"Since his hilarious turn as rocker Aldous Snow in 2008's Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Brand has been making audiences laugh around the world with his unique character portrayals and unforgettable comedic timing," noted Neuhauser. "Brand is one of the most entertaining comedians on the big screen today and we could not be more honored to present him with the CinemaCon Comedy Star of the Year Award."

Brand will next star in the title role of the April 8, 2011 romantic comedy Arthur, from Warner Bros. Pictures. In this fresh new look at a classic story, he re-invents the role of loveable billionaire Arthur Bach, an irresponsible charmer who has always relied on two things to get by: his limitless fortune and the good sense of lifelong nanny Hobson (Helen Mirren) to keep him out of trouble. Now he faces his biggest challenge of choosing between an arranged marriage to ambitious corporate exec. Susan (Jennifer Garner), that will insure his lavish lifestyle, or an uncertain future with Naomi (Greta Gerwig), the woman he really loves. With Naomi's inspiration and some unconventional help from Hobson, Arthur will take the most expensive risk of his life and learn what it means to be a man. Brand also serves as an executive producer on the film.

Russell Brand first shot to fame in the U.S. starring as rocker Aldous Snow in the Judd Apatow-produced hit comedy Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He later reprised the role in the hit comedy Get Him to the Greek, starring opposite Jonah Hill. Most recently, Brand lent his voice to the Easter Bunny in Hop, and Dr. Nefario in the hit animated feature film Despicable Me. He has also starred, alongside Helen Mirren, in Julie Taymor's adaption of The Tempest, and in Bedtime Stories, with Adam Sandler and Keri Russell. His writing debut, My Booky Wook: A Memoir of Sex, Drugs, and Stand-Up, became a huge success in the United Kingdom, before being released in the U.S. where it stayed on the New York Times' bestseller list for five consecutive weeks. The follow up, My Booky Wook 2: This Time it's Personal, was published in 2010.


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NEW YORK -- In keeping with its reputation for industry-standard-setting quality, IMAX Corp. (NYSE:IMAX) (TSX:IMX), today announced it has promoted David Keighley to the newly created role of Chief Quality Officer. In this role, Keighley will be responsible for continuing to demand that every film IMAX touches not only meets the Company's exceptional criteria, but becomes an enhanced version of the original.

"While many organizations today are preoccupied with finding ways to do things cheaper, IMAX is focused on maintaining the highest quality of presentation and continuing to improve all aspects of the cinematic experience," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "David Keighley has been the driving force behind that approach at IMAX for many years. By operating this way, we are able to deliver exceptional value to our audiences, partners and shareholders."

Keighley has been involved in the post-production of more than 265 IMAX films and will continue as president of IMAX's post-production image and quality control subsidiary, DKP 70MM Inc., co-founded with his wife and business partner, Patricia, in 1972 and acquired by IMAX in February 1988. Keighley was appointed Executive Vice President of IMAX in July 2007 and previous to that had been Senior Vice President since July 1997.

Award-winning filmmaking team Christopher Nolan and Emma Thomas commented on Keighley's new post: "We were thrilled to hear of David's promotion. His attention to detail, extraordinary technical knowledge and dedication to the highest standards of motion picture image quality have been essential to the IMAX presentations of our films."

"David Keighley is an icon in the industry, earning a sterling reputation through his meticulous attention to detail and his sense of personal responsibility to the work he's done for the best, brightest and most innovative filmmakers," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President, Filmed Entertainment at IMAX. "David's collaboration with these key partners and his unwavering focus on delivering the ultimate cinematic presentation have been key contributors to solidifying IMAX's position as an important partner for Hollywood's most influential, leading filmmakers."

Keighley is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and participates in the Academy's Science and Technology Awards Committee. He is a Fellow of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and a recipient of its Herbert T. Kalmus Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement in Color Motion Pictures. He has also received the Giant Screen Theater Association's inaugural Special Achievement in Film Award.

"As CQO, I am committed to ensuring IMAX remains the presentation quality leader and am very grateful for this opportunity to reinforce the IMAX brand," said Keighley. "My passion for raising the bar for our talented filmmakers will carry on and I am confident that the IMAX team will continue to offer premium cinematic experiences as we near almost half a century of astounding our audiences."


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CULVER CITY, Calif. -- Neal H. Moritz, founder of Original Film and producer of such high-profile forthcoming motion pictures as Battle: Los Angeles and Fast Five, has extended his first-look development and production pact with Columbia Pictures for three more years, it was announced today by Doug Belgrad, president of Columbia Pictures. The extension of Moritz's deal comes 18 months before his current deal was set to expire and continues a successful partnership and collaboration with Sony, the studio that has been his home since he produced I Know What You Did Last Summer in 1997.

"We have been working together with Neal for nearly 15 years and over that time, we have partnered with him and his team on more than 20 films, most recently with The Green Hornet and Battle: Los Angeles," Belgrad said. "He is simply one of the best and most prolific producers in the business. He knows what audiences want and is completely dedicated to delivering hits that audiences worldwide consistently enjoy while being fully conscious to bring his projects in on budget and on time."

"Neal is an important member of the Sony Pictures family and the kind of producer you want in your corner. He has terrific taste for stories that excite the imagination of audiences everywhere. We have established a level of trust and confidence in him that can only come from the kind of long term success we have shared together for so many years," said Amy Pascal, co-chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Moritz added, "Sony has been my home almost since I first started producing and I couldn't ask for a better or more supportive studio partner. Amy, Michael, Doug and the entire production team is first rate. They are truly the best as creative collaborators and problem solvers, and they are backed by Jeff Blake's marketing and distribution team. There is a reason that I continue to call Sony my home and it has everything to do with the pleasure I get from being part of such a great, winning team. Years from now, when I have produced the last film of my career, it will probably be made with my friends at Sony."

Moritz has produced a total of 15 No. 1 hits, most recently The Green Hornet for Columbia Pictures. As the founder of Original Film, he has been producing feature film and television for over three decades.

He is currently in production on the Universal Pictures comedy The Change Up starring Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman and helmed by David Dobkin (Wedding Crashers). His next film to be released is Fast Five, the fifth installment of The Fast and The Furious franchise, starring Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne ‘The Rock' Johnson.

Films in pre-production include, 21 Jump Street starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum , directed by Chris Miller & Phil Lord, and Total Recall, starring Colin Farrell and directed by Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard), R.I.P.D., starring Ryan Reynolds and Zach Galifianakis, and Jack the Giant Killer directed by Bryan Singer. With over 40 films to his credit, past titles include, most recently, The Green Hornet, which opened to #1 at the box office and has since taken in over $200 million worldwide; The Fast and Furious series, I Am Legend, XXX, S.W.A.T., Made of Honor, Gridiron Gang, Bounty Hunter, Evan Almighty, Sweet Home Alabama, Click, Vantage Point, Out of Time, Blue Streak, Cruel Intentions, I Know What You Did Last Summer, The Skulls, Volcano, Urban Legend, and Juice.

Moritz' television credits include the HBO movie The Rat Pack, which earned 11 Emmy nominations, the drama series Prison Break for Twentieth Century Fox, and Showtime's highly acclaimed new series The Big C, starring Laura Linney and Oliver Platt.

A graduate of UCLA with a degree in Economics, Moritz went on to get a graduate degree from the Peter Stark Motion Picture Producing Program at the University of Southern California.

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