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Cannes Market News
Day 5
/ Sunday 20 May
or years, Rebekah Brooks,
editor of the British tabloids
The Sun
The News
of theWorld
, put the spotlight
on celebrities and other
unassuming individuals. But now
the tables have turned and Brooks
is to be the subject of a film based
on a
Vanity Fair
article called
Untangling Rebekah Brooks
The news emerged in Cannes this week
as part of an announcement about
a new partnership between Hollywood
and Silicon Valley. MEVIO Chairman
and CEO Ron Bloom announced on Friday
the formation of a new company, BiteSize
Entertainment. Producers Gene Kirkwood
and Ross Elliot (
New York, New York
Pope of Greenwich Village
The Idolmaker
are folding their newly-created Kirkwood-
Elliot Productions banner into BiteSize
to serve as the exclusive feature film
production arm of the company, providing
a pipeline of commercial movies for wide
theatrical release. is one of the fastest growing
entertainment sites on the web, producing
and distributing a broad slate of premium
quality short-form entertainment shows.
The company is profitable and is on track
to deliver over 1 billion streams per month
by the end of 2012. Mevio is backed by a
line-up of venture capital firms, including
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia
Capital, Sherpalo Ventures, DAG Ventures
and Crosslink Capital. The company
will initially produce 4-6 higher budgeted
commercial feature films a year, as well
as a unique slate of “micro-budgeted”
theatre-quality features.
Liza Foreman
BiteSize Entertainment,
MEVIO’s Pipeline into Hollywood
Gene Kirkwood’s with
BiteSize Entertainement’s Ron Bloom.
Dodd Lobbies for Unity Against Piracy
The US and France don’t see
intellectual property in the same
way. How do you plan to instigate
a fruitful co-operation between
different countries?
This is an issue where we have
to get beyond the notion that this is
a competition between countries,
or between companies, and that
independent film producer are in fact
as much at risk, or maybe more at risk,
in many ways. People won’t just steal
big-tent-pole movies, they will
download products when they want it.
So I worry some industries may
not survive. We are all at risk
in this situation. I think there is a failure
to step back and see it for what it is:
there comes a point where no product
is safe from piracy, regardless
of all the effort that go into
manufacturing it. How will we deal
with issues of sovereignty, security,
privacy, piracy, and simultaneously
create opportunities where people
can have incredible access?
There is a tendency to think that piracy
issues are only about movies, music
and TV shows, but that is simply not
true. Twenty-five percent of internet
traffic is infringed property.
Is SOPA ancient history?
Yes. We are all stepping back from it
and we all need to think these issues
through. People assumed SOPA
was just concerned with defending
Hollywood. Those who download
bootlegged contents felt they were
justified in stealing from those who
can afford to be stolen from, rather
than, say, blue-collar workers,
when in fact 95% of people in this
business are blue-collar workers.
How do we manage these issues?
How do we balance the issue
of creativity and innovation?
There are no easy answers.
I think it just require sense of balance.
The contents and technology industries
should be asking us to make a choice.
Contents needs technology
and technology needs content.
They have to understand that
they need each other.
Are you still planning to sue
the 66.6 millions Megaupload
users, as reported in the press?
I’m sure that if people were given
choices they would make different ones.
We could educate people, tell them
that there is a lot of money involved
in these thefts, that these file providers
are not your friends and that
your privacy is at risk. Last year,
the impression was that the tech
community was the one defending
the consumers, saying, This isn’t
about us, it’s about you, freedom
of speech and all. To a large extend,
people saw the contents industry
saying, It’s about me, my job, my money,
which wasn’t really effective.
Anne-Laure Bell
Chris Dodd, MPAA Chairman and CEO, in Cannes to co-host a Haiti fund-raising event with Sean Penn, will also meet
with representatives from other countries and various industry bodies to set up a unified anti-piracy initiative.
Fashion Industry
Making FilmWaves
Nadja Swarovski and Britain’s
Julian Fellowes were in Cannes
on Saturday to talk about
the diamond company’s move
into film production.
The first feature project from
the new Swarovski Entertainment
division is an adaptation
Romeo and Juliet
which is based
on a script by Fellowes and stars
Hailee Steinfeld and Douglas Booth
in the title roles. The film, which
is currently in post-production,
is due for release in 2013.
One of the film’s co-producers,
lleen Maisel of Amber
Entertainment, first thought
of Swarovski for the production
and contacted Nadja Swarovski,
who is an old family friend
of Fellowes. “I said yes before I even
finished the email,” Swarovski says.
I knew it was completely right
for us. And this is all about finding
the right partners to collaborate
with. “It is very important for us
to invest in creativity, and creativity
ultimately drives commerce.
We are thrilled to work with Julian.”
Nadja Swarovski executive
produced the film. Fellowes added:
“They wanted to get into film
and we wanted to get into film
with them.”
As for creating a new angle
for a play, which has been adapted
on multiple occasions, “everything
is a challenge, except for staying
home in bed. You just have to say,
This is what I am doing now,
or you frighten yourself into doing
nothing. There is a generation that
hasn’t got out the Kleenex and cried
Romeo and Juliet
so this is
for them.” Fashion companies
have been involved in a number of
film projects at the festival this year.
Gucci presented a restored version
of Sergio Leone’s
Once Upon a Time
in America
on Friday night.
Prada will present a short film
directed by Roman Polanski
on Monday.
Hailee Steinfeld in
True Grit
Chris Dodd.