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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Belgium -- The Odeon/UCI Cinema Group, Europe's largest cinema operator and XDC, the n°1 digital cinema service company in Europe, have agreed contracts for a deployment of digital cinema systems under XDC's VPF funding scheme.

Drew Kaza, Executive Vice President of Digital Development, Odeon & UCI Cinema Group said: "We made the decision to go with XDC because they were able to tailor their VPF financing solution to meet our local needs and most importantly they have an established infrastructure in Portugal with excellent technical expertise and support. We are delighted to be working with them, which allows us to concentrate our direct VPF deal approach on our other markets."

Serge Plasch, XDC's CEO-Managing Director added: "I am thrilled that we have reached agreement with the Odeon/UCI Cinema Group. As Europe's largest and most successful Exhibitors they set extremely high standards and precise terms for the service agreement, I am very proud that XDC have met with their expectations and look forward to providing them with a fast efficient deployment and a high quality service"

Under the terms of the agreement with XDC, Odeon/UCI Cinema Group will have Series 2 DCI-compliant digital projection systems installed into three complexes totalling 45 screens. A content delivery network will also be implemented by XDC in order to allow distributors to deliver films directly by satellite and/or broadband connection to the cinemas, as well as giving the opportunity to receive live 2D and 3D transmissions.

All the systems will be connected to the XDC's NOC (Network Operations Centre) which will perform the hotline support and the preventative remote maintenance. Thanks to the sophisticated XDC's CineStore Data web-based application, the frontline support (with the possibility to have a full remote monitoring of the digital systems) will be directly managed by XDC's local integrator which will also take care of the installations and maintenance supported by XDC's NOC services.

Odeon/UCI Cinemas are the third major Portuguese Exhibitor to contract with XDC. After this deployment is completed Portugal will be able to boast that it is one of the first European countries to go completely digital and a first total country for XDC as well.

 

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Source: Deadline

Today at the start of the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas, James Cameron's Cameron-Pace Group announced that they plan to increase efforts to make 3D a part of every available exhibition platform. Specifically, they said that they intend to make available their next-generation camera systems to sporting events, advertising campaigns, consumer product services, and episodic and live television, in addition to their ongoing feature work. Cameron said, "Our goal is to banish all the perceived and actual barriers to entry that are currently holding back producers, studios and networks from embracing their 3D future."

Cameron and Pace's proprietary camera system was previously used to shoot Avatar, Tron: Legacy and U2: 3D. Their current/ upcoming projects include Rob Marshall's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Michael Bay's Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Paul W.S. Anderson's The Three Musketeers, Martin Scorsese's The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Ang Lee's Life of Pi and Carl Rinsch's 47 Ronin.

 

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Henderson, NC --The Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre, Henderson, NC announces that starting with its weekend program April 15th- patrons visiting the theatre, will be given an opportunity to win $25 Shell Gas Gift Cards.

One gas gift card will be given away each month from April thru August. Patrons attending a movie will be given one entry form, per car-for each time they visit the theatre during this promotion. Theatre owner, Jim Kopp states: "our patrons drive on an average 40 -75 miles (each way) to attend the only drive-in theatre left in the Triangle area... 85% of our regular movie attendance comes from the Triangle area, but additionally there is a large contingency of patrons that drive from as far away as Virginia Beach, VA and as far south as Wilmington, NC... "with gas prices reaching towards $4 a gallon; family budgets are beginning to get tight so we thought that our patrons deserve a chance to win some gas money for making the trip to the drive-in."

Raleigh Road Outdoor Theatre is the first theatre in the country to offer its patrons a chance to win some gas gift cards for attending movies. With movie attendance down nationally almost 20%; Kopp hopes that other theatres (particularly drive-in theatres); will join in the effort to reward some lucky patrons some gas cards.

"We value our patrons and appreciate their efforts in driving long distances to our theatre"... "families love going to the movies, its' part of Americana, and when gas prices soar; families can't afford to attend as often.... That's why we hope we can help in some small way, ease the pain at the pump for our patrons..."

 

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