Cineplex Digital Solutions debuts

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Cineplex Entertainment renamed its Digital Display and Communications business as Cineplex Digital Solutions. Acquired in July 2010, the company is an award-winning implementer of digital signage networks and associated products and services, and is found on numerous software platforms in the retail, financial, hospitality and entertainment markets across North America.

Cineplex Digital Solutions is adding 170 PODS to the Labatt POD network, an in-store digital signage display program that was custom-designed for the brewer. The Labatt network currently features more than 500 PODS across five provinces in Canada.

The company was also selected by Canucks Sports & Entertainment to develop a comprehensive digital signage strategy for the Rogers Arena in Vancouver. They were chosen based on their past experience with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto. Other clients include Holt Renfrew, The Bank of Nova Scotia, CIBC, Sears and Rogers Communications.

Incendies Sweeps Jutra Awards

Denis Villeneuve’s Oscar-nominated Incendies collected nine Jutra Awards in the annual honors for French-Canadian films. The drama about a brother and sister who travel to the war-torn Middle East to fulfill their mother’s dying request was named Best Picture, and also won in the screenplay and directing categories.

Lubna Azabal won the Best Actress Jutra over her co-star, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin.

For most of their history, the Jutras have been voted on by members of various associations in their professional categories; for example, producers and cinema owners picked the best film and directors picked the best director. But bowing to pressure from the industry, the Jutras radically changed their nomination process last year. Now a jury selects the Best Picture nominations. This has increased the number of films which were critically acclaimed but didn’t score high at the box office, such as Denis Côté’s Curling, which was up for three awards, and 10-1/2, a film about a troubled young boy living in a group home which was nominated in four categories including Best Picture. The latter film’s Claude Legault was named Best Actor.

Barney’s Version, the adaptation of the Mordecai Richer novel starring Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman, earned Jutras for make-up and hairdressing.

Genie Awards Honor Villeneuve
Canada’s 31st annual Genie Awards named the Quebec drama Incendies Best Picture, and bestowed writing and directing honors on auteur Denis Villeneuve. Incendies star Lubna Azabal was named Best Actress, and Paul Giamatti was hailed as Best Actor for Barney’s Version.

The Genies took place on March 10 at the National Art Centre in Ottawa, with William Shatner as host. A beloved icon and proud Canadian, Shatner said he was thrilled to be part of the ceremony to honor Canadian talent. The event was broadcast live on the CBC.

Cronenberg Prepares Cosmopolis
Paul Giamatti, Juliette Binoche and Mathieu Amalric will join Twilight star Robert Pattison in David Cronenberg’s thriller Cosmopolis, which starts shooting in April. Cronenberg wrote the adaptation of Don DeLillo’s 2003 novel. Set in the near future, it follows a trader being stalked as his fortune disappears. Producers include Martin Katz of Prospero Pictures and Paulo Branco of Paris-based Alfama Films. eOne will oversee distribution in Canada. Paris company Kinology will handle international sales.

CHRC and Nordicity Study Technology
It’s no secret that technology is changing the overall cultural sector, and the Canadian Cultural Human Resources Council has decided to find out just what impact it is having on content creators. Last fall, the CHRC commissioned Nordicity to undertake an eight-month, pan-Canadian study on the impact of digital technology on media including film, television, broadcasting and digital media. Now they have embarked on online discussions with the creative community. Discussions are led by thought leaders like the National Film Board’s Tom Perlmutter and Canadian Media Production Association topper Norm Bolen. Social networks have also been used to spread the word.

E-mail Canadian news items to Adina Lebo at mptac.ca@ca.inter.net.