Source: Variety

Sony Pictures, the studio responsible for releasing the last two James Bond movies, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, won a bidding war to distribute the next installment in the franchise, currently named Bond 23. After a bidding war in which Warner Brothers, Paramount and 20th Century Fox competed for the rights to the next Bond movie, Sony emerged victorious, and will help shepherd the film through production later this year.

MGM has played host to the franchise since its inception in 1962 with Dr. No. Meanwhile, when MGM's library folded into 20th Century Fox, that studio has released the films on DVD and Blu-ray, making them a potentially suitable candidate for distribution of future films. But after the success of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, MGM has put their faith in the hands of Sony yet again. Unfortunately, no cast or crew is in place for the upcoming film, although Daniel Craig is rumored to be returning under the auspices of director Sam Mendes.


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CANNES -- The film Restless by Gus Van Sant will open Un Certain Regard, selection of the Festival de Cannes, on the evening of Thursday, May 12.

Produced by Columbia Pictures, Imagine Entertainment and 360 Pictures, the film examines the relationship of two teenagers, played by Mia Wasikowska and Henry Hooper.

Gus Van Sant received the Palme d'or in 2003 for Elephant and the 60th anniversary award for Paranoid Park (2007). His first nomination at the Festival de Cannes was in 1995 for To Die For.

Un Certain Regard chooses close to twenty films each year for its official selection. The president of the jury, Emir Kusturica, will present the Prize Un Certain Regard on May 21.

The official selection will be announced on Thursday, April 14.


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LOS ANGELES, CA and MORRISTOWN, NJ -- Cinedigm Digital Cinema Corp.(NASDAQ: CIDM) today announced that their fourth quarter 2011 signed VPF deployment agreements totaled 1,402 screens and 32 exhibitors at 142 sites, marking the biggest number of individual exhibitors and screens signed in a quarter in the company's history.

Additionally, Cinedigm physically installed 1,885 screens during the fiscal year, making it the largest number of installations since the start of Phase 2 in March 2008.

In the combined Phase One and Phase Two digital cinema deployment program, Cinedigm has:
• Signed 7,657 screens overall at 750 sites
• Installed 5,919 digital screens
• Signed 59 Cinema Buying Group exhibitors, representing close to 1,450 screens
• Signed exhibitor buyer deals representing close to 3,100 screens
• Signed Cinedigm financed deals, with Phase 2 representing close to 1,000 screens
Cinedigm-installed screens account for over 35% of the total 16,000+ digital screens in the United States and Canada*.

"Cinedigm brings a unique program of products and services for exhibitors to realize the full power and benefits of their digital cinema platform," said Chuck Goldwater, President, Media Services Group. "Throughout our company we continue to innovate and implement new and compelling options that expand our exhibitor partners operations and revenue generating opportunities, which is a strong factor in their signing with Cinedigm."

Cinedigm's Digital Cinema division is the industry-leading deployment program for Digital Cinema. It facilitates the funding, installation support and administration for the company's Digital Cinema rollout plans. Cinedigm, which is supported by long-term VPF agreements with all the major studios, is also the digital cinema integrator partner for the CBG, a buying program of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) for small and independent theatre operators in United States and Canada.

"Cinedigm is without question the number one choice for exhibitors to entrust with their digital cinema program," continued Goldwater. "We have earned that trust with an unmatched record of reliability and proven performance, delivering on our promises since ‘Day 1' of digital cinema. We are so proud of all our exhibitor partners and look forward to continuing to support their digital cinema business plans and ambitions for many years to come."

Cinedigm offers a new business model to exhibitors by enabling theaters to present engaging alternative programming including live 2-D and 3-D sporting events and concerts, shorts, cartoons, live Q&A's, as well as branded entertainment. Recent releases by Cinedigm include the groundbreaking, worldwide LIVE 3D broadcast of the FIFA World Cup Championship, the BCS Championship in LIVE 3D, the Dave Matthews Band 3D concerts, and the sold out 3D PHISH concerts. Cinedigm has also released the KIDTOONS series for the past six years, a weekly family friendly matinee series that runs in over 165 theatres across the country.

* These figures do not include IMAX screens.


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Los Angeles, CA -- Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg today announced the first round of executive hires for the company including Jason Cassidy in the key role of President of Marketing. In addition, Ortenberg named Elliott Kleinberg General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Operations and Business Affairs; Steven Andriuzzo, Chief Financial Officer; and Ben Cotner as Senior Vice President of Acquisitions.

Said Ortenberg, "This group of talented professionals brings an impressive breadth of experience to our new venture and will allow us to hit the ground running. Jason Cassidy is the perfect candidate to help us build new marketing models and convert consumer intent into theatrical attendance. Elliott Kleinberg has a terrific understanding of the motion picture business that will aid us in building relationships between Open Road and the rest of the entertainment community.

"Steven Andriuzzo's expertise in motion picture finance and home entertainment specifically will be of great benefit to us. Additionally, we are fortunate to have been able to attract a rising star in the acquisition community, Ben Cotner, to help us identify and attract the kinds of movies we are looking for as we build Open Road Films."

Cassidy said "I am absolutely thrilled to join Tom and the rest of the Open Road team at the outset of this innovative venture. The sky is the limit and I'm truly excited to be part of a new distribution model."

Founded earlier this year by AMC Entertainment Inc. (AMC) and Regal Entertainment Group (Regal), the two largest theatrical exhibition and entertainment companies in the United States, Open Road Films is a dynamic, acquisition-based domestic theatrical distribution company.

As previously announced the company will distribute approximately eight to ten movies per year and expects to release its first film later in 2011. Additional key executive hires are expected to be announced in the near future.

Jason Cassidy most recently served as Executive Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at Miramax Films, where he began work in 1999. He spearheaded campaigns for over 100 movies at Miramax including "No Country For Old Men", "Gangs of New York", "Chicago", "The Queen", "Kill Bill Vols. 1 and 2" and "Adventureland". Prior to his career at Miramax, Cassidy was Director of Marketing at USA Films. He started his film industry career at October Films.

Prior to joining Open Road Films, Elliott Kleinberg served as Chief Operating Officer of United Artists, where he was responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the company, and oversaw all aspects of the financing, distribution and exploitation of company product, business and legal affairs, human resources and investor, shareholder and lender relations. Before his tenure at United Artists, Kleinberg was a partner at the law firm of Kleinberg Lopez Lange Cuddy Edel & Klein.

Steven Andriuzzo joins Open Road Films from Paramount Pictures, where he served as Senior Vice President of Planning and Finance for the Domestic Home Entertainment division. Before joining Paramount, Andriuzzo spent several years with DreamWorks LLC where he served as Head of Corporate Finance and Motion Picture Group Controller. He also played a key financial role in IPO of DreamWorks Animation.

Before joining Open Road Films, Ben Cotner was Executive Director of Acquisitions & Co-Productions at Paramount Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group, where he acquired domestic-anchored films for Paramount Pictures and all affiliated labels including Vantage, Insurge and MTV Films. Previously Ben worked in various acquisitions roles at Paramount Vantage and Paramount Classics.



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New York, NY -- IFC Center today announced a new program to bring Emerging Pictures' "Opera in Cinema" and "Ballet in Cinema" presentations to downtown Manhattan this spring. Featuring canonical works mounted by world's greatest opera and ballet companies-including La Scala, the Royal Opera, the Bolshoi and the Royal Ballet-these events present high-definition performances from such stars as Renée Fleming, Placido Domingo and Natalia Osipova. The April line-up is below.

Sunday, April 17 at 10:00am
LA TRAVIATA - Performed at the Royal Opera House, London
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, Conducted by Antonio Pappano, Directed by Richard Eyre, Starring Renée Fleming
One of the most popular operas in the canon, La Traviata (literally, "The Fallen Woman") is the story of Violetta Valery, a courtesan in 19th-century France. The role of Violetta is considered one of the most challenging in the soprano repertoire-the score requires a vast range of vocal pyrotechnics, not to mention sheer endurance, as Violetta is onstage for nearly the entire opera. The Royal Opera House's production stars the celebrated American soprano Renée Fleming, alongside tenor Joseph Calleja and bass Thomas Hampson-all audience favorites.

Wednesday, April 20 at 8:00pm
GISELLE - Performed at the Royal Opera House, London
Composed by Adolphe Adam, Choreographed by Marius Petipa, Starring Marianela Nuñez and Rupert Pennefather
One of the most influential of all ballets, Giselle is one of the greatest and most popular works of the dance canon and of The Royal Ballet's repertory. The title role, a study in the transcendental power of a woman's love in the face of betrayal, is one of the most technically demanding and emotionally challenging roles in classical dance. "The Royal Ballet's revival of Giselle provides the succulent spectacle of a world-class company at the top of its game." -The Telegraph (UK)

Tuesday, April 26 at 2:00pm
RIGOLETTO FROM MANTUA - Shot live on-location in Mantua, Italy
Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, Conducted by Zubin Mehta, Directed by Marco Bellocchio/Andrea Andermann, Starring Placido Domingo & Vittorio Gigolo
Placido Domingo (of "Three Tenors" fame) takes on a new challenge-the title role of Rigoletto, shot live on location in the cobblestone streets of Mantua. In a ground-breaking and innovative event, presenter Katie Derham introduces the opera as it is performed in locations across the city with Domingo in the role of the hunchback court jester in Verdi's tragic masterpiece. Rigoletto from Mantua is a live film directed by noted auteur Marco Bellocchio (Vincere), conceived and produced by Andrea Andermann, conducted by Zubin Mehta and filmed by cinematographer Vittorio Storaro.

Thursday, April 28 at 3:00pm
DON QUIXOTE - Performed at the Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
Composed by Ludwig Minkus, Choreographed by Alexei Fadeyechev after Marius Petipa & Alexander Gorsky, Starring Natalia Osipova & Ivan Vasiliev
A stunning production, based on Cervantes's epic masterpiece, originally created for the Bolshoi by Marius Pepita in 1869. "Since Osipova burst on to the international dance scene in show-stopping performances in Don Quixote, during a 2007 Bolshoi tour to London, the sheer energy and intensity of her stage presence has been as remarkable as her improbable floating jump and astounding technical prowess." - New York Times "Don Quixote is a romp of a ballet, all flashing eyes and virtuoso steps. Vasiliev and Osipova rampage through it, with outrageous charm and astounding technique. By the time we got to the curtain calls, the audience was standing and screaming for them." -The Independent (UK)


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