7th September 2011

Montreal International Black Film Festival Unveils Program

MIBFFThe Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF), presented by Global Montreal in collaboration with the Fabienne Colas Foundation, has unveiled the program for its 7th edition today at the NFB office. This year’s Festival will run from September 22 to October 2, 2011.

With an impressive line-up of 125 films from over 35 different countries, the majority of which are world, international, Canadian, Quebec or Montreal premieres, as well as a panoply of special events, the 7th edition of the MIBFF is just brimming over with enthusiasm, energy and freshness, and offering its audiences rich and diverse perspectives. Read the rest of this entry »

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7th September 2011

Empire Theatres to Build New State-of-the-art Theatre Complex in Kingston

empire theatresCanada-wide film exhibition company Empire Theatres has announced that it will begin development of a new 10-screen theatre complex in Kingston. The construction of Empire Theatres Kingston is expected to begin in late November, 2011. The new complex will be located at the intersection of Division Street and Dalton Avenue as part of the second phase of a larger commercial development – Kings Crossing Power Centre.

Empire Theatres Kingston will blend entertainment with technology in a contemporary and unique design. The 41,000 square foot complex will feature digital technology in all 10 auditoriums for high quality picture, Dolby Digital surround sound, luxurious high-back seats. Plenty of well lit, free parking will be available.

In addition, Empire Theatres Kingston will feature Empire Theatres’ very own “Empire Extra” in one auditorium. Empire Extra provides guests with a heightened sensory experience in a special auditorium designed to offer Empire Theatre Kingstondynamic sound, screen and seat quality. Empire Extra boasts a custom-designed multi-channel sound system for the ultimate audio experience; stunning digital presentation on a massive, wrap-around screen; and reserved seating in comfy, high back rockers.

The theatre will include an expansive main lobby, a lounge area with leather seating, Automated Box Offices, an expanded refreshments offering and large rooms that will be used for community and corporate use. Guests will also be able to purchase their tickets at refreshments for one-stop shopping.

“Bringing an unparalleled state-of-the-art entertainment experience to moviegoers in Kingston is very exciting for us at Empire Theatres,” says Dean Leland, Vice President of Studio Relations & Media.  “The building design combined with digital technology will make it the preferred destination for all Kingston movie-goers.”

David Lehberg, President of Knightstone Capital, believes that “Empire Theatres will add an entertainment element and contribute favorably to the tenant mix at Kings Crossing which currently includes: Canadian Tire, No Frills, Kingslake Plaza and the Kingston Fashion Centre”.

The 235,000 sq ft Phase II of Kings Crossing is expected to be fully completed by the end of 2013. The grand opening of the new Empire Theatres Kingston theatre is planned for late spring/early summer 2012.

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7th September 2011

Register Now for Social Media Week Vancouver

Social Media Week 2011Vancouver’s largest and most comprehensive social media conference, Social Media Week Vancouver has opened for registration, and as Canada’s only host city for the fall conference, events are already starting to fill up. Socialized! Ltd. announced the free conference in July of this year which will take place September 19th through 23rd.

Social Media Week is a global platform that connects people, content and conversations around emerging trends in social and mobile media. Vancouver is one of twelve global locations selected to host the bi-annual conference that is free for registered participants to attend.

“This will be the largest social media conference of its type in Vancouver,” says Rob Lewis, Editor-in-Chief of Techvibes.com and a member of the Social Media Week Vancouver Board of Advisors. “We are excited to be involved in an event of this magnitude. Techvibes is connected to many different industries and this conference will touch on everything from journalism and government to social media and the use of technology.”

The principle is simple, visit Social Media Week Vancouver’s website and register for the events of your choice. Events are free for registered participants and will include summits, mashups and soirees that take place in various venues around Vancouver from Monday, September 19th through Friday, September 23rd.

“Some of the events are already sold out, but we encourage people to get registered today as some of our venues have limited capacity,” says Teri Conrad, Senior Social Strategist for Socialized! Ltd.

With conference events planned throughout each day and into the evening, Ceili’s Irish Pub has reserved the rooftop patio for the week, with soirees currently planned for Monday, Thursday and Friday evening. “Ceilis is excited to be hosting several of the day time events and are, of course, proud to be the official party and soiree venue for Social Media Week Vancouver,” notes Mark Reid, Vice President, Ceilis Group.


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7th September 2011

PwC Predicts Bright Future For Film Industry

pwcThe Toronto International Film Festival is just days away and the future looks bright for the film industry, according to PwC. The firm’s study shows global consumer spending on filmed entertainment will grow at a 5.9% compound annual rate over the next five years reaching US$114.8 billion in 2015 from $86.2 billion in 2010. This growth is strongest in markets showcased at TIFF, and Canada’s biggest film festival will screen more than 300 films from over 60 countries.

Producers from both major and emerging markets like China, Vietnam, Romania, Russia and India will see high compound annual growth rates ranging from 10% – 26%, between now and 2015. At the same time markets in North and South America, Europe and the Middle East will see moderate to strong gains between 3% and 9%.

“Revenues for filmed entertainment will be fuelled by the youth market and a variety of options for consumers to access movies. Watching movies online and via mobile devices will supplement box office spending on filmed entertainment,” says Michael Paterson, partner in PwC’s Entertainment & Media practice. “Expect to see higher quality film experiences for consumers as the industry looks for new ways to stay competitive by differentiating the way we access movies and enhancing the movie going experience.”

Filmed Entertainment Market, 2011 – 2015*
Country Spending in $US millions 2011-2015 CAGR (%)
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Canada 3,956 4,123 4,304 4,477 4,641 4.2
US 36,842 38,853 41,151 43,448 45,686 5.4
France 4,002 4,195 4,372 4,538 4,683 4.2
Germany 3,750 3,871 4006 4137 4,241 3.7
Italy 2,123 2,228 2345 2463 2,552 4.4
United Kingdom 6,047 6,362 6711 7069 7,364 4.9
Czech Republic 140 147 156 163 169 4.9
Romania 40 45 50 55 60 11.4
Russia 1,734 1,972 2208 2375 2,547 10.7
Israel 170 177 184 192 198 4.1
South Africa 319 337 357 372 389 4.9
Australia 3,872 4,115 4353 4585 4,810 5.8
India 2,058 2,325 2561 2819 3,095 10.8
Japan 7,403 7,812 8,296 8,686 8,932 3.1
Argentina 254 279 304 332 360 8.9
Brazil 1,499 1,641 1,790 1,937 2,070 8.6
China 2,716 3,508 4,358 5,269 6,254 26.0
Vietnam 8 10 12 14 17 23.2

*Includes consumer spending at the box office, cinema advertising, in-store rental market, physical sell-through market, and electronic distribution.

According to PwC, worldwide box office spending will increase from US$33 billion in 2010 to US$48.7 billion by 2015, an 8.1% compound annual interest gain, supported by the growth in 3-D film screens. The increase in the number of 3-D screens will raise average prices which consumers will pay, keeping movie admissions steady. In 2010 in Canada, there were 350 3-D screens and the average price of a single movie ticket rose 5.5% over 2009, the first gain of more than 5% since 2000.

“While consumers may become more selective in choosing to see a 3-D film over the next few years, we believe 3-D and other innovations will have a long-term positive impact on admissions because these enhancements help to distinguish the theatrical experience from the home video and online experiences of watching a movie,” says Paterson.

In Canada, film and TV production generated about $6.8 billion in GDP in the Canadian economy in 2010 and led to the employment of over 117,000 individuals on a full-time basis across the country. North America will continue to be the biggest region for filmed entertainment, growing at 5.2% from US$39 billion in 2010 to over US$50 billion by 2015.

Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec have the highest share of total volume production in Canada at 39%, 27% and 25% respectively.

“Tax incentives are a critical part of the growth of the film industry, including domestic and international co-productions,” says Tracey Jennings, PwC’s Canadian Entertainment & Media Leader. “PwC continues to assist clients to obtain these tax credits which help to offset the cost of production in Canada. We have also seen many of the provinces enhance, and others introduce, digital media tax incentives which are becoming more important in a world of digital convergence. “

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7th September 2011

Sun Life Financial Launches Mobile App

sun lifeSun Life Financial has launched its free mobile application for the iPhone mobile digital device and BlackBerry® smartphone. This new application, my Sun Life (Canada), provides existing group benefits and group retirement and savings plan members across Canada the ability to submit benefit claims, check plan balances and find ways to save for the future in a single mobile app.

For Sun Life group benefits plan members, the app allows them to submit medical and dental claims from their smartphones for instant processing – an industry first! Plan members are able to submit claims anywhere, anytime – even at point of sale – with the majority of claims being deposited into their bank accounts within 24 to 48 hours. Plan members can also view the details of their submitted claims, even those submitted through the sun life appmail, and have easy access to important benefit tools including their drug and travel protection cards.

“Making life easier for our clients is important to us and we know that providing mobile technology options is just one of the ways we can make it simpler for Canadians to do business with us,” says Stuart Monteith, Senior Vice-President, Group Benefits, Sun Life Financial Canada. “We’re excited to be the first insurance provider to offer mobile e-claims with instant adjudication in Canada.”

Group retirement and savings plan members can check their plan balances and recent contributions right from their phones. Sun Life now offers mobile access to account information and three interactive financial planning tools that take everyday spending situations and show how easy it is to turn small expenses into substantial savings. These tools build on Sun Life’s commitment to promote financial literacy.

“Our plan members tell us that having access to their account information, no matter where they are, is important to them,” says Tom Reid, Senior Vice-President, Group Retirement Services, Sun Life Financial Canada. “We’ve taken that a step further and not only given them the numbers, but we’re also showing clients that by making small changes to how they save, they can be that much closer to achieving their financial goals.”

Group plan members with an iPhone or BlackBerry® smartphone can download the free app directly from each manufacturer’s application marketplace. Users of other smartphones will have access to mobile web functionality after the launch of the app.

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7th September 2011

Blake Tohana Joins marblemedia in Dual C Role

marblemediamarblemedia has appointed Blake Tohana to the newly created role of CFO & COO. He will be working closely with Partners/Executive Producers Mark Bishop and Matthew Hornburg to lead the company’s growth and execute its strategic plan.

Blake will oversee the expansion of new divisions and departments, including marblemedia’s Interactive group and its International Sales & Distribution arm, Distribution360. In addition, he will be responsible for growing the company’s newly-created Factual & Lifestyle division, which is launching its first cross-platform property—What’s in a Name?— on History Television (Canada) on September 12th, 2011.Blake Tohana

“We’re very pleased to welcome Blake to the marblemedia team. Over the past decade, we’ve been fortunate to have grown significantly from a two person start-up to an award-winning multi-platform production studio. Blake will be implementing strategies to further expand our business in Canada as well as in international markets,” said Mark Bishop and Matthew Hornburg, Partners and Executive Producers at marblemedia.

Blake has nearly 15 years of senior management experience in the media and entertainment industry. Prior to joining marblemedia, he spent seven years as Executive Vice-President and CFO of Magna Entertainment Corp., which was North America’s largest horse racing company with media operations that included a U.S. television network and Internet wagering business. Prior to that, he held various senior management positions (including CFO) at Fireworks Entertainment Inc., which was a film and television production and distribution company that he helped take public before it was subsequently acquired by CanWest Global Communications Corp. Blake got his start in the industry as Corporate Controller of Alliance Communications Corp., which was Canada’s largest filmed entertainment company at that time.

Blake currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. He is a Chartered Accountant and has an MBA from McMaster University and a B.Sc. from The University of Western Ontario.

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7th September 2011

Mobiz Confirms Top Speakers For Inaugural Event

mobizAlliance numérique committee Alliance Mobilité has confirmed some of the top international names in the mobile industry will be attending this very first edition of Mobiz, presented by the Canada Media Fund. Mobiz, Quebec Mobile Congress, is a new event dedicated to mobility, which aims to foster the outreach and discovery of the most recent technology, as well as best business practices. Mobiz will take place on October 31st at the Hilton Montréal Bonaventure hotel as part of MTL DGTL. Register now to take advantage of the 30% Early Bird discount by registering online before September 16.

Confirmed For Mobiz:

  • Eric Morris, Head of Mobile Advertising, Google Canada
  • Gladstone Grant, Vice-President, Platforms and Developers Group, Microsoft Canada
  • Philippe Lozier, Director of Convergence, Samsung Canada
  • Niels Helkov, Vice-President, e-health & M2M Americas, Orange

“Mobiz provides a unique opportunity to get a feel for a booming industry through current topics such as mobile marketing, mobile wallet, convergence, cloud computing, emerging trends and, of course, market research,” highlights Martin Dufresne, Event Director.

Mobiz is already expecting a number of companies from across Quebec and Canada who are active in the mobile industry:

  • Rogers
  • Transcontinental Interactive
  • Mirego
  • Canadian Tire
  • Yellow Pages Group
  • WhereCloud
  • DH International
  • Wavefront
  • Soluteo

“We are very proud of this first edition which brings together players of the international and local arenas, and will be featuring business cases that will address both current issues and future avenues for the mobility world,” adds Mister Dufresne.

The day will end with Mobiz Awards, which will provide an opportunity for five mobile industry companies as well as five startups to increase their visibility within the industry. Seasoned developers and emerging Montreal professionals will have five minutes to present their innovative mobility projects to Mobiz attendees. Registration for participation in Mobiz Awards will end on September 15th.

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7th September 2011

Playdium DVD Rental Kiosks Filling Blockbuster Void

playdiumToronto-based entertainment giant Playdium has launched its “Playdium Movie Magic ” DVD Rental Kiosk program. A self-service movie and game rental kiosk which replaces conventional brick and mortar rental retail shops. With more than 70 kiosks already deployed throughout the GTA and surrounding areas, movie and game enthusiasts worried about impending local video store closures will not need to look very far for a convenient and cost effective alternative.

Kiosks are located at various retail outlets (including approximately 25 Walmart Supercentres) and allow consumers to rent a DVD movie for only $2 plus tax for a day. Any additional days are charged at $1 plus tax. Kiosk capacity is 625 discs and content is primarily made up of new & recent releases with some classic titles offered. A full list of kiosk locations can be found on the Playdium web site.

Playdium Movie Magic began testing DVD kiosks in late 2010 and has been busy rolling out the kiosk program in 2011. Kiosk placements are continuing and Playdium Movie Magic intends to have well over 200 kiosks deployed by early 2012. Blu Ray format is currently being tested at various locations and Playdium Movie Magic will begin testing video game rentals in Q4 of 2011.

Playdium Movie Magic has had its eye on the success of DVD kiosk market in the U.S., where DVD rental kiosks number over 40 000 units deployed and represent approximately 33% of the DVD rental market. “DVD Rental Kiosks have shown great success in the U.S. market. Playdium Movie Magic gives Canadian consumers a fresh and easy way to rent movies and games at very affordable prices” said Len Keywood, Playdium CEO.


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7th September 2011

Introducing CBC Live

cbc liveCBC has launched Canada’s newest online entertainment destination: CBC Live. From film and fashion to people and parties, CBC Live brings the stars to life like never before, connecting Canadians with high-profile personalities and happenings.

“At CBC, we’re focused on celebrating the very best in Canadian talent,” said Kirstine Stewart, Executive Vice-President, English Services. “CBC Live is a great way for Canadians to connect to the entertainment scene in our country online – easy access for the entertainment lover anywhere in Canada.”

Launching just in time for the star-studded September season, CBC Live will have a place of prominence at fall events from the Gemini Awards and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to the CCMA Awards and the national Culture Days celebrations. And of course, CBC Live will be the go-to site for the inside scoop on the hottest fall television programming, film premieres and music events. The site has already attracting exciting content, including an exclusive interview with international superstar Russell Crowe.

On September 7, as a kick-off to CBC Live, the site will play host to groundbreaking online companion programming for the 26th Annual Gemini Awards. The live stream features digital host Tom Green, in the “Tom Green Room” beginning at 7 p.m. ET at cbc.ca/live and will be available On Demand as a digital companion to the 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) television broadcast.

Then, as Canada turns its eyes to TIFF, CBC Live and the stars of CBC will literally roll out the red carpet across Toronto. From September 8th until the 18th, fans will have the chance to walk CBC Live red carpets like a star – all captured by the CBC Live paparazzi – with surprise appearances by CBC stars bringing the celebrity spirit of CBC Live to life.

Off the streets, Canadians can stay connected with CBC Live anytime and anywhere they are online – whether by following @CBCLive on Twitter and by “liking” the CBC Live Facebook page.

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7th September 2011

TIFF Breakaway Film in Brampton Buzz Mela

Among the Canadians films being featured at the Toronto International Film Festival is Breakaway, which will be featured in a TIFF Buzz Event on September 11th at Chinguacousy Park in Brampton. The film’s international mega-cast including Rob Lowe, Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, the film’s main leads Vinay Virmani, Noureen Dewulf and Camilla Belle, the comedic superstar Brampton-born funny man Russell Peters and Gurpreet Ghuggi will be in attendance at the Breakaway Buzz Mela.

In keeping with the theme of the film, the festivities will begin with the Hyundai Hockey Tournament in which 16 local teams compete for Nav Bhatia’s Hyundai Indo Canada Cup trophy to be presented by GTA’s very own businessman, sports aficionado and entertainment czar Nav Bhatia along with the Honorable Mayor of Brampton Ms. Susan Fennell. The Breakaway Buzz Mela will also feature international recording superstars and Brampton’s own Brand Ambassadors RDB along with Josh, Bohemia, Jassi Sidhu,

H-Dhami and Veronica ‘live’ in concert. These performances will be livened up by Shiamak Davar’s internationally renowned dance troupe. Along with the music and celebrations, the event will have food and market vendors. The event is supported by the City of Brampton.

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