PARK CITY, Utah, and REDMOND, Wash., Jan. 15, 2004 — At today’s opening of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, Microsoft Corp. and the Sundance Institute announced that five full-length feature films will screen digitally at the festival using Microsoft® Windows Media®
9 Series. For the third year in a row, Windows Media is supporting the Sundance Film Festival, and this year the following films will be screened in Windows Media 9 Series: “BAADASSSSS!,” starring David Alan Grier, Ossie Davis and co-writer/director Mario Van Peebles, who is starring as his father, co-writer and acclaimed filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles; “Carandiru” from Academy Award-nominated director Hector Babenco; “Open Water,” from writer/director Chris Kentis; “Sky Blue,” a groundbreaking high-definition, multilayered animation epic from Moon-Sang Kim and English version from Sunmin Park; and “Speak,” from writer/director Jessica Sharzer, starring Kristen Stewart, Steve Zahn and Elizabeth Perkins.
In addition, Microsoft today announced the creation of an independent film Web site on http://www.windowsmedia.com/ , dedicated to showcasing indie films and filmmakers. Windows Media 9 Series provides moviegoers with the high-quality theatrical experience they are accustomed to, while offering producers and distributors the cost savings associated with mastering and releasing films digitally.
“Microsoft’s Windows Media 9 Series helps deliver extraordinary images and sound to the cinema screen and enhances the overall film-going experience at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival,” said Ian Calderon, director of Digital Initiatives for the Sundance Institute. “Microsoft’s elegant technology has emerged as a creative and practical tool, and it demonstrates the company’s continued commitment to the independent film community.”
“Over the past decade digital production and editing tools have offered independent filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival and beyond the flexibility and cost-savings that have allowed them to achieve what was formerly unavailable,” said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows®
Digital Media Division at Microsoft. “With Windows Media 9 Series, Microsoft is providing a high-quality digital exhibition format that provides filmmakers with an entire end-to-end digital process — from the shooting of the film through big-screen exhibition — all without the need for expensive film mastering.”
Using its specialized Cinema System, Digital Cinema Solutions will digitally project the films in Windows Media 9 Series using HP Workstation xw4100 systems. Windows Media 9 Series joins traditional 16 mm, 35 mm and HDCAM as a recognized format used in screening films at the Sundance Film Festival this year.
In conjunction with the screenings at the Sundance Film Festival, Microsoft will host two technical workshops at the Digital Center on Main Street in Park City. One workshop will be held in conjunction with Avid Technology Inc. and HP; the second, presented by Microsoft, will cover digital film solutions ranging from digital filmmaking and distribution to applications for digital dailies and encoding and projection for the big screen. Classes with Avid and HP will be held Jan. 17 through Jan. 22 at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:45 p.m., and will feature Avid Xpress®
Pro with Avid Mojo (TM) , PowerProduction StoryBoard Artist, Panasonic 24p DV cameras and Windows Media 9 Series, all running on HP Workstation xw4100 systems. Members of the press are invited to attend a special version of the class Monday, Jan. 19 from 6:30–7:30 p.m. Microsoft’s digital film solutions workshop will be held Monday, Jan. 19 from 12:30–2 p.m. in the Digital Center.
In addition, Windows Media 9 Series is being used for online viewing of the short films featured in the Sundance Online Film Festival at http://www.sundance.org/ .
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 Windows Media 9 Series platform includes Windows Media Player 9 Series; Windows Media Services 9 Series, the powerful streaming server feature in Windows Server (TM) 2003 for distributing content; Windows Media Encoder 9 Series for content creation; Windows Media Audio and Video 9 Series for the best-quality audio and video; Windows Media Digital Rights Management to help protect content; and the Windows Media Software Development Kit for software developers to develop digital media products and services. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is now the leading media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .
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, Windows Media, Windows and Windows Server are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.
Avid, Avid Xpress and Avid Mojo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Avid Technology, Inc. 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.
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