Reel News


Hollywood, CA (March 24, 2000) -

Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine Online Film Festival

A ringing testament to the convergence movement in Hollywood and worldwide, over two thousand Net-heads, filmmakers, celebrities, agents and publicists toasted the close of the first annual Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine Online Film Festival here last night. The two-day Festival concluded with a gala awards show, musical performance by John Oszajca and keynote address by renowned film critic and Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine columnist Roger Ebert. "Hollywood and the Internet are on a collision course," said Ebert. "The Internet will survive, and so will those in Hollywood who understand it. But the day of the unwired mogul is over. The movie industry has the same relationship to the Internet today that it had to talkies in the 1920s: Plug in or quit." Winning thumbs up in its Hollywood debut, the Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine Online Film Festival packed the halls of The Standard, Chateau Marmont, and the Directors Guild of America for two straight days. More than 300 members of the press lined up to report on the groundbreaking event, while entrepreneurs, agents, publicists, celebrities and ambitious marketers rounded out the robust crowd. "The deluge of attendees reaffirms the mission of the Online Festival," said Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine Festival Director Jesse Jacobs. "We are the voice of the Net, devoted to bringing the pioneers in a rapidly-growing world together to celebrate the marriage of art and technology." Over the course of the two-day Festival, several major announcements were made, including: Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine Online announced that the Second Annual Online Music Awards will take place in June, reprising the Studio 54 location but with an address and performance by David Bowie. * Mandalay Entertainment Group's Peter Guber led that company as the only "Hollywood" studio in attendance at the fest. * Paradise Digital Production (NASDAQ:PDSE) signed a formal agreement with Acme talent and Literary for a first-look deal for materials, concepts and properties originated, published or created by Acme and its base of clients. They also announced a technology partnership with business software company Computer Associates, Inc. (NYSE: CA) * Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced a partnership with IMDb to promote a newly-launched independent film section of IMDb, the oldest film site on the net, through its Amazon.com Advantage section. * IFILM.com launched the IFILM Student Film Festival, co-branded with Collegeclub.com. * Atomfilms.com announced a production and distribution partnership with Propaganda Films. * Beachblanket.com launched their web-based entertainment company to develop Internet content targeted to women 25-55. * Crushed Planet featuring the work of Taxicab Confessions' Joe and Harry Gantz, announced the launch of Prison View, an unedited documentary featuring live webcam views of prison life, to go along with the five online shows they launched at Sundance. * Filmbazaar.com inked three exclusive editorial partnerships with digital mogul's mogulwars, leading German entertainment site film.de, and columnist Leonard Morpugo. * Hitplay.com launched their targeted video network with quips by Advisory Board member James Belushi, a performance by MP3 artist Kathy Fisher, actors and models Dorian Gregory, Shawn baker, Shemar Moore and ex gridiron great Willie Gault, and a dramatic parachute jump into the Standard's pool area from 1000 feet up. * Honkworm signed Ally McBeal and The Practice producer Jeffrey Kramer, a strategic partner with Web-savvy agency Endeavor, and a slate of original programs including A Dog in a Box with Two Wheels. * The Sundance channel answered delegates' calls for more opportunities for women on the web with a slate of special web programming saluting women filmmakers in April. * Reelshort.com announced an equity investment by Universal Pictures, who will help Reelshort showcase the work of cutting edge new short films. * 21st Century Vox Online Film Studios announced a 3-picture iFeature deal with New York's Bigel-Mailer Films. * IWorldLottery.com announced it will webcast their $10 million weekly drawings via LA's Internet media company LFITV (Lightforce). * Shockwave announced a development and production deal for animated Internet programming with filmmaker David Lynch. * Digital film distributor SightSound.com announced completion of principal photography on QUANTUM PROJECT, the world's first film produced specifically for distribution over the Internet. They premiered the trailer for the $3 million film from Academy AwardŽ Winning producers Metafilmics starring Stephen Dorff, Fay Masterson and John Cleese at the Festival. In addition to the some 30 exhibits, Festival guests packed six panels on topics ranging from incubating new media film companies to digital storytelling to online film distribution. Crowds spilled from, where . Some panels were moved from the Standard to the Chateau to accommodate capacity crowds. "Never before has a convention been hosted with such finesse and fromage as this," said Andre Balazs, owner of the Standard and the Chateau Marmont. Hosting such high-profile events as the world premiere of acclaimed director Mike Figgis' Time Code, the Festival lined up several celebrities along the red carpet (and at other festival venues) to show their support for the small screen, including: Dustin Hoffman; Nicholas Cage; Jodie Foster; Holly Hunter; Salma Hayek; Quentin Tarantino; Ron Howard; Jeffery Katzenberg; Jeanne Tripplehorn; Oliver Stone; Bill Paxton; Danny Huston; Viveka Davis; and Brian Grazer, among many others. Organizers added two screenings to accommodate the more than 1400 people who showed up for the premiere. Mike Figgis hailed the convergence of the new media and film worlds as "the future" as he congratulated Yahoo Internet Life for conceiving and executing the Festival and using as a forum for the premiere of his film. Following Roger Ebert's keynote address at the closing night celebration, standout filmmakers that were selected for the Festival were awarded in the following categories: Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine Filmmaker for the Future: Christopher Bell, "Billy Jones" BeachBlanket.com Best Online Female Director: Allison Shulnik, "Vedma" Best Short Films/Animation (Winners in these two categories were selected by a worldwide popular vote on Yahoo! Movies): ANIMATION Janet Galore, "Fishbar #10: The Delectable Peanut" Steve Katz, "Protest" Nicholas Peterson, "MuM" Scott Rosann, "Race Speedster" Allison Shulnik, "Vedma" Mark Osborne, "More" Kevin Souls, "Descent" Mike Wellins, "Chuck Webber's Land of Abuesement" LIVE­ACTION Brad Abelson, "My Ding­A­Ling" Christopher Bell, "Billy Jones" Gene Laufenberg, "Sunday's Game" Bill McNally, "The Sick Sense" Jonathan Michals, "Babie" John Lloyd Miller, "I Still Miss Someone" Sony Cameras were awarded to three short filmmakers: John Lloyd Miller "I Still Miss Someone" Steven D. Katz, "Protest" Christopher Bell, "Billy Jones" Highlights from the Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine Online Film Festival will be aired on Monday, March 27th Yahoo! Broadcast [www.broadcast.yahoo.com]. The Webcast will, appropriately, serve as a postscript to the Academy Awards. The Yahoo! Internet Life Magazine Online Film Festival took place in Los Angeles at the Chateau Marmont and The Standard on March 22nd and 23rd, and featured two days of exhibitions of leading online entertainment companies, seminars and panel discussions, and will conclude with an awards ceremony and closing night gala. Participants in the Online Film Festival include: Amazon.com; AtomFilms; BigStar.com; IFilm; IMDb.com; Mandalay; Pop.com; Reel.com; Shockwave; SightSound.com and many others, making this one of the most important events for the future of film and the Internet. Speakers include Roger Ebert, Mike Figgis, Peter Guber, Kurt Andersen, and Frank Biondi. The festival is generously sponsored by Sony, Sun Microsystems, Amazon.com, BeautyJungle.com, OnStream, BigStar.com, Yack.com, Honkworm, The New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Filmmaker Magazine, Sundance Channel, Yahoo! Movies, Food.com, Skyy Vodka, and Paradise Digital Productions. Yahoo! Internet Life is a monthly publication with a rate base of 900,000. It is published by Ziff-Davis Publishing, the largest computing and Internet magazine publisher and the sixth largest magazine publisher in the United States. With more than 80 worldwide publications serving the consumer and business-to-business markets, Ziff-Davis' publications cover everything from the Internet economy to family computing and gaming. In the U.S., Ziff-Davis publishes PC Magazine, PC Week, Ziff-Davis SMART BUSINESS for the New Economy, Yahoo! Internet Life, eShopper, FamilyPC, Inter@ctive Week, Sm@rt Reseller, Computer Gaming World, Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, Expert Gamer, Electronic Gaming Monthly and Macworld through a joint-venture with International Data Group (IDG). In December 1999, Ziff-Davis Publishing announced an agreement to be acquired by Willlis Stein & Partners in partnership with James D. Dunning, Jr. The sale is expected to close in March 2000.