June 7, 2010 - New York, NY - The Cambodian government has banned the acclaimed documentary Who Killed Chea Vichea?, U.S. director Bradley Cox's film that investigates the mysterious 2004 assassination of Chea Vichea, one of Cambodia's most influential union leader who spent years fighting for increased wages and improved working conditions for the nation's 300,000 garment workers. The movie, which had its European premiere last month at the Cannes Independent Film Festival, has received accolades from festivals around the world and was named one of Amnesty International's Top Ten Movies That Matter.

In May, in honor of International Labor Day, trade unionists attempted to hold the film's Cambodian premiere at the very location where Vichea was murdered, but riot police raided the scene, and dismantled and seized the screens. The Cambodian government, led by Prime Minister Hun Sen, immediately declared the film an illegal import and announced that it intends to prevent any screenings "wherever they are held." Asserts one of the premiere's organizers, "If the authorities acted like this, it means that some officials could have been involved in Chea Vichea's murder."

The making of the film was no easy feat. For much of the past decade, Bradley Cox-an award-winning activist-documentarian who is currently receiving treatment for a gunshot wound in Bangkok where he has been covering the Thai military crackdown-has been living in Southeast Asia, unraveling the mystery behind Vichea's murder and other newsworthy stories. Cox was on the scene with his camera just moments after the fatal shots to Vichea, and conducted his own investigation over the next five years.

In an unprecedented look at the inner workings of one of the world's most corrupt states, Cox's documentary reconstructs a police plot that framed two innocent men who were sentenced to 20 years each. Several of the witnesses who appear in the film have fled the country or gone into hiding for safety reasons. Cox also became persona non grata in Cambodia, eventually having to leave for his own safety. To the surprise of many in the human rights community, the murder case was reopened in late 2008 and the Supreme Court provisionally released the two men on January 1st, 2009.

"Did the courts simply come to their senses and suddenly discover unprecedented independence from the government? Hell no. But the release of Who Killed Chea Vichea? loomed," said Eric Pape, a former Newsweek correspondent who has reported on Cambodia for fifteen years. "Remember, Cambodian police never identified any other suspects. I imagine there's a reason for that."

The Cambodian authorities maintain the right to seize any media "that is produced or imported illegally," and, after the attempted screening of Who Killed Chea Vichea?, Cambodian police repeatedly tried to confiscate the film from union organizers. Organizations in Cambodia regularly screen imported films without direct government approval, from French films at the Centre Culturel Français to popular Hollywood or American independent films at the Foreign Correspondents Club. The authorities denied that their decision had any connection to politics, but there is no other politically charged film that has been banned in Cambodia since the 1980's.

Cambodia is a major recipient of foreign aid from Western countries including the United States, the UK, France and Australia. Its constitution was written with the help of foreign donors and guarantees "freedom of expression, press, publication and assembly."

"This is what governments do when they don't want their own people to know the facts and when they can't afford to show weakness, even for an instant," said Rich Garella, one of the film's producers, and a former managing editor of The Cambodia Daily.

"I would encourage Cambodian government officials to practice what they preach," said Cox. The government's action, he added, is "the very stuff of dictatorships."

Who Killed Chea Vichea? is a co-production of Loud Mouth Films Limited and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).

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NEW YORK - The Cinema Advertising Council (CAC), a national non-profit trade association which serves cinema advertising sellers, the theatrical exhibition community and the advertising community, today unveiled its new report on cinema advertising revenues. According to the association's report, total cinema advertising industry revenues of CAC members - which account for more than 82 percent of U.S. movie screens - grew by nearly 2 percent to $584,067,000 in 2009, as compared to a total of $571,421,000 in 2008. The announcement of the report - which was independently tabulated by Miller, Kaplan, Arase & Co. LLP - was made today by Michael Chico, president and chairman of the CAC.

Cinema advertising grew despite a year that saw spending in other traditional media decrease significantly. For 2009 regional and national cinema advertising sales were up 5.4 percent compared with the previous year, accounting for 79.4 percent of the industry (regional and national sales accounted for 76.8 percent of total cinema advertising spending in 2008). Meanwhile, local cinema advertising sales were down 9.6 percent year over year, accounting for 20.6 percent of the total cinema advertising market (compared with 23.3 percent in 2008), while other independent forecasts showed that the majority of non-cinema media categories were off 20 percent or more last year.

Mr. Chico stated, "Cinema advertising, in what was one of the most challenging years for media sales during the last few decades, continued to grow in a meaningful way. That growth is continuing in 2010, as cinema has already experienced double digit increases across the board.

Our sector's vitality remains very strong and major brands that have utilized cinema remain loyal to the category based on the return on investment we provide." He added, "New advertisers and new, emerging advertiser categories made cinema part of their spend in 2009 even though it would have been very easy for buyers and planners to have stayed the course during such a difficult year."

The CAC report includes revenue data for both on-screen cinema advertising - including commercials airing in advance of movie previews and the feature presentation - as well as off-screen revenues - including those delivered by digital video and audio programming, sampling, special events, concession-based promotions and lobby-based promotions. On-screen revenues accounted for over 93 percent of total cinema advertising revenues and were up 2.1 percent year over year, while off-screen revenue was flat.

Top national cinema advertising categories in 2009 included Apparel, Auto, Entertainment, Retail, Consumer Packaged Goods, Travel and Wireless. Additionally, growth in 2009 was attributable to increasing activity across a broad spectrum of emerging categories, from Cable Television Networks, Cosmetics, Financial and the Military.

 

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HOLLYWOOD - Marc Evans has been promoted to President of Production, Paramount Pictures, it was announced today by Adam Goodman, President of the Paramount Film Group. Evans will continue to report to Goodman in his new role.

Evans, who is currently Executive Vice President of Production of Paramount Pictures, joined the company in 2003 as Vice President of Production. He has supervised production on such Paramount releases as "Star Trek," "Mission: Impossible III" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." He is currently supervising upcoming titles such as "Transformers 3," "Super 8", "Rango," "Morning Glory," "The Last Airbender" and the fourth "Mission: Impossible" installment, which is slated to start production in August.

"Marc has grown into an invaluable contributor to the creative process and he is a natural choice to fill this role," said Goodman. "His track record demonstrates his great ability to juggle highly complex productions with complete grace and ease. He has terrific relationships, a passion for filmmakers, and a great work ethic. We felt it very important to find someone within our outstanding team to fill this position, and we're all so excited to be working with Marc in this new capacity."

Prior to joining Paramount, Evans served as Executive Vice President of Laura Ziskin Productions, and Vice President of Industry Entertainment. He spent five years before that as Program Director of the Chicago International Film Festival.

 

 

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Source: Variety

Bruce Willis, Forest Whitaker and Malin Akerman (Watchmen, Couples Retreat) have signed on to star in Catch .44 from first-time director Aaron Harvey.

The plot synopsis has "indie" written all over it: "Story focuses on three women -- led by Akerman's character -- being thrust into an extraordinary situation involving a psychopathic hitman, played by Whitaker, a grizzled trucker and a delusional line cook. Willis will play the head crime boss, the mastermind behind everything that happens."

Both Willis and Whitaker have not had a good year. Willis starred in the Kevin Smith dud Cop Out, and Whitaker played opposite Jude Law in Universal's flop, Repo Men. As for Ackerman, she appeared in happythankyoumoreplease, which won positive reviews out of Sundance.

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Sterling, Virginia - GDC Technology ("GDC"), a world leading digital cinema solution provider, announced today that it has opened a new East Coast office in Sterling Virginia, near Washington DC, to help meet the growing demand for GDC digital cinema servers in America. This strategic location and the addition of Tim Folk, Executive Vice President, whose extensive experience in operations and customer service allow GDC to better serve its North American client-base and set its sights on new regions.

Exhibitors in America have been strong adopters of GDC's servers particularly where reliability and performance of digital systems are critical. Key customers in America who are using GDC servers include Cinemas Guzzo, Destinta Theatres, Epic Theatres, Flagship Cinemas, Great Escape Theatres, Harkins Theaters, Movie Tavern, National Amusements, Premiere Cinemas, R/C Theatres, Santikos Theatres, Southern Theatres, Starplex Cinemas and United Entertainment Cinemas only to list a few. "With the increase in digital cinema demand and the rapidly growing US market, more exhibitors are moving to digital to satisfy consumer needs and differentiate themselves from their competitors," said Dr. Man-Nang CHONG, founder and CEO of GDC Technology. "Our new East Coast office will provide a broader coverage in serving our clients and will allow us to meet the increasing demands of digital cinema."

"We have seen significant growth in our customer base and GDC has delivered more than 1,000 digital cinema servers to America in the last 12 months," said Tim Folk, Executive Vice President. "Our customers are expanding their commitment and believe in the performance and reliability that our digital cinema servers are able to deliver. To support their commitments, we are expanding our US resources." The new Virginia office allows GDC to deliver superior sales and support to our current customers as well as to grow our prospect base in the region."

"I am also proud to mention our West Coast office in Burbank, California is expanding its technical staff as well," said Dr. Man-Nang CHONG. GDC's Burbank office continues to act as its base of operations for service and R&D. The addition of GDC's Virginia office provides geographical convenience for service, training and sales support for the East Coast exhibitors. Currently, GDC is the only digital cinema server manufacturer that has a presence on both the East and West Coasts of the United States.

"I am tremendously excited for this opportunity," said Folk. "I look forward to strengthening our presence in North America and focusing on new markets such as Latin America."

The new East Coast office is located at:
GDC Technology of America LLC
21155 Whitfield Place,
Suite 207, Sterling, Virginia 20165
Office: +1 877 337 0868

 

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