WASHINGTON -- Bob Pisano, President and Interim CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA), today applauded House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-TX) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Howard Berman (D-CA) for encouraging the White House to focus on strong intellectual property protections in its upcoming negotiations on the TransPacific Partnership (TPP) free trade agreement. In a bipartisan letter addressed to President Obama, 18 Members of the House of Representatives indicated that the ability of the United States to compete on a global scale depends largely on its ability to shield its creative industries from theft.
"We want to thank Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Berman for their leadership and support for pursuing the highest level of protection for American intellectual property rights in the TransPacific Partnership free trade agreement," said Pisano. " They and the 16 other signatories understand the critical role that IP protection plays in safeguarding America's economic future - our export economy, creative jobs, and investments in American innovation depend on it. As a model for future free trade agreements, setting a strong IP precedent is imperative."
"We hope the White House builds on its efforts during the U.S.-Korea FTA negotiations to make intellectual property protection an integral part of this agreement, and look forward to working with Chairman Smith and Ranking Member Berman on future initiatives."

The letter coincides with this week's TPP negotiations in Santiago, Chile, and emphasizes that efforts to bring negotiations to a swift conclusion must not come at the expense of including a robust IP chapter to protect American industry.

A copy of the letter can be found here.


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Source: Deadline Hollywood

Twilight star Taylor Lautner is apparently in the final stages of completing a deal to star in a film that will be produced by blockbuster filmmaker Michael Bay. According to Deadline, Tuesday morning signaled the beginning of a bidding war between a number of studios for the distribution rights for a project developed for and with Bay and Lautner. Described by an anonymous source as "Mr. & Mrs. Smith meets Wanted," the film will mark the pair's first collaboration, and continue Lautner's post-Twilight career trajectory that put him in starring roles in a number of high-profile studio projects, including Lionsgate's Abduction and Universal's Stretch Armstrong.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen precisely what sort of involvement Bay will have in the film, since his production company Platinum Dunes has connected him to a number of big films which he ultimately did not direct. But Lautner is clearly capitalizing on the newfound success afforded him by the Twilight film series, setting up a considerable slate of film projects that will keep him in the public eye after the Breaking Dawn, the two-part finale to the Twilight saga, wraps up in 2012.


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Source: Deadline New York

Although he hasn't officially signed on the dotted line, Ice Cube is in negotiations to join the cast of 21 Jump Street, the big-screen adaptation of the popular 1980s and ‘90s Fox television series. Cube would join a cast that already includes Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, and be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the filmmakers who struck gold in 2009 with their terrific adaptation of the classic children's book Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.

In the meantime, Cube is also in the process of setting up Chrome and Paint, a drama described as being in the mold of his early film Boyz N' the Hood, albeit focusing on the custom car culture of Southern California. Chrome would be Cube's first feature directorial project since The Players Club in 1998, although he helmed a documentary about the Oakland Raiders, Straight Outta L.A., for ESPN in 2010. Additionally, the rapper-turned-entertainment magnate is also developing a reunion project for himself and director David O. Russell, which will bring them back together more than a decade after they made Three Kings together. And finally, his Cube Vision imprint is producing a musical biopic about his rap group NWA, entitled Straight Outta Compton.


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Washington D.C. -- The Inter-Society for the Enhancement of Cinema Presentation, Inc. (The Inter-Society), in concert with CinemaCon, announced today that industry veteran Sid Ganis, former President and current governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will receive the Inter-Society's 2011 Ken Mason Award at CinemaCon 2011 to be held March 28-31, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, NV.

The award, named after the Inter-Society's founder, will be presented to Ganis during the Breakfast and Industry Awards Presentation on Tuesday, March 29 by Ioan Allen, Senior VP of Dolby Laboratories on behalf of the Inter-Society.

Presented yearly at ShoWest since 1995, the Ken Mason Award honors an individual who has made outstanding and long-term contributions leading to the overall improvement of the motion picture experience. Some of the previous recipients include: Ken Mason, Barry Reardon, Al Shapiro, Bud Stone, Ioan Allen, Mark Christiansen and Gary Weaver.

"Throughout his career Sid Ganis has had a major impact on the motion picture experience, from marketing, distribution, and in his role as President of the Academy. I salute Sid for his long and ongoing support for the motion picture going experience," said Mark Christiansen, Executive Vice President of Domestic Theatrical Distribution Operations, Paramount Pictures and the President of the Inter-Society.

"In recognition of the outstanding work that The Inter-Society does on behalf of the entire motion picture industry, CinemaCon is delighted to carry on this great tradition with regard to the presentation of the annual Inter-Society Ken Mason Award," noted Mitch Neuhauser, Managing Director of CinemaCon. "And to know in our first year Sid Ganis is going to be the recipient makes us extremely happy and delighted."

Ganis got his start in New York City with 20th Century-Fox in the early 1960s, and after stints at Fox, Columbia, Seven Arts and Warner Bros. He became senior VP at Lucasfilm in 1979, where he worked in marketing such blockbusters as "The Empire Strikes Back," "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." In the 1980s he became president at Paramount where he oversaw such hits as "Top Gun" "Fatal Attraction" and "Ghost." From 1992 to 1996, he returned to Columbia as vice chairman and prexy of worldwide marketing for Columbia/Tristar, and then in 1996 founded his own company, Out of the Blue Entertainment.

Ganis served as President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from 2005 until 2009 -- ensuring the visibility of the theatrical motion picture-going experience though the broad range of Academy activities. In addition to the Oscar program, for example, one little known Academy function is the Science and Technology Council, created in 2003 in response to the explosion in digital motion picture technology, which continues to transform the production, post-production and exhibition of movies. The Council's activities are focused on industry-wide problem-solving and research projects, preserving the history of motion picture technology, and educating professionals and the public about the role of technology in moviemaking.

"I'm flattered to be recognized by the Inter-Society for the Ken Mason Award, in particular because the Society represents all branches of our industry, from production through to exhibition" said Mr. Ganis.


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