Microsoft and Sundance Institute Announce Windows Media 9 Series As Accepted Screening Format at Sundance Film Festival

PARK CITY, Utah, Jan. 17, 2003 — Today at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, being held here Jan. 16–26, Microsoft Corp. and the Sundance Institute announced that Windows Media® 9 Series is an accepted screening format for the festival. In addition, four full-length feature films will be screened digitally using Microsoft®
Windows Media 9 Series, including
“Masked and Anonymous,”
with Jeff Bridges, Penelope Cruz, Bob Dylan, John Goodman, Jessica Lange and Luke Wilson;
“The Maldonado Miracle,”
produced and directed by Salma Hayek and starring Peter Fonda, Mare Winningham and Ruben Blades;
“A Foreign Affair,”
with David Arquette; and
“Milk and Honey,”
featured in the American Spectrum, directed by Joe Maggio and starring Clint Jordan and Kirsten Russell. Microsoft also will host a hands-on workshop for filmmakers at the Sundance Institute near Provo, Utah, during the festival.

“The Sundance Film Festival is excited to include Windows Media 9 Series as an accepted format for screening films at the festival,”
said Ian Calderon, Director of Digital Initiatives for the Sundance Institute.
“The high quality of video and audio delivered by Windows Media 9 Series speaks for itself and will attract the attention of every independent filmmaker.”

“The Sundance Film Festival is an ideal arena for Microsoft to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to the independent film community,”
said Amir Majidimehr, general manager for the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft.
“Windows Media 9 Series gives filmmakers the quality, security, flexibility and cost-efficiency to distribute their content in a wide variety of media and venues from the Internet to theaters.”

The films are the first feature-length films to be screened in Windows Media 9 Series at the Sundance Film Festival. All the films screened at the festival using Windows Media 9 Series will be projected by Digital Cinema Solutions of Los Angeles, the developer of Cinema Systems, which combines the high quality and contrast of
“dark chip”
digital light processing projection with the cost-effectiveness and quality of Windows Media 9 Series.

In conjunction with the screenings at the Sundance Film Festival, Microsoft will host a workshop for filmmakers at the Digital Center on Main Street in Park City. Participants will be able to get hands-on experience with the secure and adaptable digital film solutions made possible by the Windows Media 9 Series platform. The solutions cover all aspects of digital filmmaking and distribution, including applications for digital dailies, encoding and projection on the big screen.

In addition, Windows Media 9 Series is being used for online viewing of the short films featured in the Sundance Online Film Festival, which began Dec. 16, 2002, and runs to Feb. 5, 2003, at http://www.sundance.org/ . The online festival runs concurrently with the festival in Park City and is an eclectic collection of 31 short works made with cutting-edge technology in four categories: Animation, Short Subject, Gallery Spotlight and New Forms.

Window Media 9 Series offers superior quality compared with screening from videotape and avoids many of the costs associated with traditional 16mm to 35mm blowups or video-to-film recording. In addition, the Windows Media 9 Series platform enables films to be sent to theaters over the Internet, on CD-ROM or on DVD-ROM, a breakthrough development for independent filmmakers and distributors that eliminates the expense of making and shipping prints.

Screening information for all films can be found on the online guide at http://www.sundance.org/ .

About Windows Media 9 Series

Windows Media 9 Series is a comprehensive platform for the creation, delivery and playback of digital media, whether streaming or downloading from the Internet or screening directly from a PC in a theater. Encoding and screening digitally with the Windows Media 9 Series technology provides a high-quality theater experience at a fraction of the cost of alternative technologies, with much lower delivery costs than traditional film-based distribution. Windows Media 9 Series powered the nationwide digital screenings of the BMW Films Digital Cinema Series screenings of Artisan’s “Standing in the Shadows of Motown,” the digital distribution of “Wendigo,” and the works-in-progress screenings at the 2002 IFP Market.

About Windows Media

Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, used by consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations throughout the world. The new Windows Media 9 Series will power the next wave of digital media, delivering the best playback experience, unmatched audio and video quality, and integrated optimal digital rights management, and is the most comprehensive platform for delivering digital media products and services. The Windows Media platform includes Windows Media Player; Windows Media Services, the powerful streaming server for distributing content; Windows Media Encoder for content creation; Windows Media Audio and Video for the best-quality audio and video; Windows Media DRM to help protect content; and the Windows Media Software Development Kit for software developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing and now the leading media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq
“MSFT”
) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software — any time, any place and on any device.

Microsoft and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/ on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.asp .

Related Posts

Q&A: Digital Directions from New Windows Digital Media G.M.

As Microsoft and Artisan films unveil a new high-definition DVD created with Windows Media 9 Series technology, the new general manager of Microsoft’s Windows Digital Media Division, Amir Majidimehr, surveys the state of the digital arts and his division’s strategy.