DEG to Present Hedy Lamarr Award to PBS’s Sara DeWitt Nov. 9

DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group will present its fourth annual Hedy Lamarr Award for Innovation in Entertainment Technology to Sara DeWitt, VP of PBS Kids Digital.

The DEG created the Innovation Award to recognize female executives in the fields of entertainment and technology who have made a significant contribution to the industry.

The DEG also will present the Hedy Lamarr Achievement Award for Emerging Leaders in Entertainment Technology, which recognizes female college students whose studies in the fields of entertainment and technology have shown exceptional promise. The Emerging Leader award will be presented to Molly Mielke, who is earning her bachelor’s degree in film, TV and digital media at UCLA. Mielke will receive a financial award to continue her education.

Sony Electronics is presenting sponsor of the awards, which will be presented during an online event Nov. 9, to coincide with the 106th anniversary of Lamarr’s birth (Nov. 9, 1914).

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“We are thrilled to present DEG’s 2020 Hedy Lamarr Innovation Award to Sara DeWitt, who is a potent example of the power of media, and of women in media, to push technological innovation forward and at the same time, benefit society on a larger level,” Amy Jo Smith, president and CEO of DEG, said in a statement. “I’m equally excited to present our Emerging Leader Award to Molly Mielke to support her vision for immersive storytelling. These communicators embody Hedy Lamarr’s dedication to progress through innovation in media and technology.”

“I am honored to receive this award,” DeWitt said in a statement. “I am truly amazed to be associated with Hedy Lamarr and the other pioneers recognized by DEG through this program! I know that I am fortunate to work with a team at PBS Kids who is passionate about improving technology and media for young children, and I am so grateful for this recognition.”

Austrian-American actress Lamarr was a Hollywood legend who is best known for her roles in film classics including Samson and DelilahThe Strange Woman, and Tortilla Flat. She was also a lifelong inventor whose innovative work included pioneering “frequency hopping,” which became the foundation for spread spectrum technology. Conceived by Lamarr and composer George Antheil for radio guidance systems and patented in 1942, this highly secure technology resists interference and dropout, and is utilized today for a variety of cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth applications.

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To honor Lamarr, the Innovation Award seeks to recognize and commemorate female industry leaders who have made a similar impact in the field of entertainment technology. Past honorees include Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media; Nonny de la Peña, CEO of Emblematic Group; and Dean Willow Bay of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

To determine the award winners, DEG enlisted its Canon Club Advisory Board, which comprises a cross-section of leaders representing the entertainment, technology, IT and consumer electronics industries. Among other factors, the judging panel based its decisions on the candidates’ embodiment of the following principles: Innovation, Engagement and Excellence.

‘Mallrats,’ ‘The Last Starfighter’ Among Releases Coming to Blu-ray in October From Arrow and MVD

Kevin Smith’s Mallrats, The Last Starfighter and the horror film The Deeper You Dig are among the titles coming to Blu-ray Disc in October from Arrow Video and MVD Entertainment Group.

Oct. 6 comes The Deeper You Dig (2019), which follows a mother, daughter and stranger as they deal with the aftermath of a roadside accident. The film is a family affair written and directed by husband and wife tandem John Adams and Toby Poser, who also start alongside daughter Zelda. The limited-edition release also comes with The Hatred, a previously made feature film by the Adams family. Bonus features include a reversible sleeve featuring two exclusive choices of artwork; a double-sided fold-out poster; a limited edition illustrated collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Neil Mitchell; audio commentary by writers/directors/stars Toby Poser and John Adams; “At Home with the Adams Family,” an exclusive, in-depth interview with the trio of filmmakers responsible for The Deeper You Dig; “It’s in the Blood: The Family in the Horror Genre,” an exclusive visual essay by critic Anton Bitel exploring the theme of family in The Deeper You Dig and the Adams family’s broader filmography; a special effects breakdown with commentary by Trey Lindsay; a FrightFest TV interview with the Adams family; Hellbender music videos; the theatrical trailer; and an image gallery.

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Due Oct. 13 is Kevin Smith’s cult classic Mallrats (1995), a comedy about a pair of recently dumped best friends seeking refuge at their local mall. The new release includes new restorations for both the theatrical and extended cuts approved by Smith and cinematographer David Klein. Bonus features include a newly assembled TV cut of the film featuring hilarious overdubbing to cover up profanity with an intro by Smith; a collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Philip Kemp; a fold out poster featuring replica blueprints for “Operation Drive-by” and “Operation Dark Knight”; audio commentary with Smith, producer Scott Mosier, archivist Vincent Pereira, and actors Jason Lee, Ben Affleck and Jason Mewes; a new introduction to the film by Smith; “My Mallrat Memories,” an all-new interview with Smith; a newly filmed tribute to producer Jim Jacks by Smith; a new interview with Mewes; a new interview with cinematographer Klein; “Hollywood of the North,” a newly produced animated making-of documentary featuring Minnesota crew members who worked on the film; Smith and Vincent Pereira discussing deleted scenes and sequences originally cut from the film; outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage; cast interviews from the original set; “Erection of an Epic: The Making of Mallrats,” an archival retrospective with cast and crew looking at the making of and release of the film; a 10th anniversary archival Q&A with Smith; “Build Me Up Buttercup” music video; stills galleries; the theatrical trailer; a stills gallery of the comic books featured in the film’s opening sequence; and Easter eggs.

Also coming Oct. 13 is Kôji Shima’s 1956 classic Warning From Space. The first Japanese science-fiction film to be shot in color, it’s the story of giant starfish-like aliens that land in Tokyo. It’s the film’s first-ever HD release in America and includes a newly restored English dub. Extras include a new commentary by Stuart Galbraith IV, author of Monsters Are Attacking Tokyo!; theatrical trailers; image galleries; a reversible sleeve featuring newly commissioned artwork by Matt Griffin; and, for the first pressing only, an illustrated collector’s booklet featuring an essay on artist Taro Okamoto by Japanese art historian Nick West and an essay on the production of the American edit of the film by David Cairns.

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Coming Oct. 27 is the serial killer film Cold Light of Day (1989), a fictionalized story about one of Britain’s most brutal serial killers, Dennis Nilsen. The limited-edition release includes a new 2K restoration approved by the film’s director Fhiona-Louise. Bonus features include a new audio commentary with writer/director Fhiona-Louise; a new audio commentary with film historians/writers Dean Brandum and Andrew Nette; a newly-filmed interview with actor Martin Byrne-Quinn; a newly filmed interview with actor Steve Munroe; an original Cold Light of Day promo film made to raise financing for the feature; the re-release trailer; two short films starring director Fhiona-Louise and photographed by Star Wars DP David Tattershall, newly restored in HD, Metropolis Apocalypse (1988) and Sleepwalker (1993); a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Gilles Vranckx; a limited-edition, die-cut O-card; and a limited-edition collector’s booklet featuring new writing on the film by Jo Botting and a look at how the press reported Dennis Nilsen’s real-life crimes by Jeff Billington.

Finally, also on Oct. 27, comes Nick Castle’s The Last StarfighterReleased in 1984, The Last Starfighter follows gamer Alex Rogan who thinks he’s just playing another game until he finds himself transported to another planet where he learns the game was actually a recruitment effort. The Last Starfighter lands with a new 4K scan. Bonus features include a new audio commentary with Mike White of “The Last Projection Booth” podcast; an archival audio commentary with director Nick Castle and production designer Ron Cobb; the “Heroes of the Screen” archival featurette; the “Crossing the Frontier: The Making of The Last Starfighter” archival four-part documentary; image galleries; theatrical and teaser trailers; a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Matt Ferguson; a limited edition reversible poster featuring original and newly commissioned artwork; and a collector’s booklet featuring new writing by Amanda Reyes and sci-fi author Greg Bear’s never-before-published Omni magazine article on Digital Productions, the company responsible for the CGI in The Last Starfighter.

‘Ava’ Shoots to No. 1 on ‘Watched at Home’ Chart

Ava, a thriller starring Jessica Chastain as an assassin, debuted at No. 1 on the weekly “Watched at Home” chart for the week ended Sept. 26. The film, distributed by Vertical Entertainment, bowed on VOD Sept. 25.

The movie is also available to rent on disc from Redbox. However, the Watched at Home chart, which tracks transactional video activity (both digital and on DVD and Blu-ray Disc) compiled from studio and retailer data through DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, does not account for rental data.

The three seasons of Paramount’s drama series “Yellowstone” continued to occupy the top five, with the third season at No. 2, the second season at No. 4 and the first season at No. 1.

No. 3 was Lionsgate’s The Secret: Dare to Dream, which moved up nine spots after its release on Blu-ray Disc and DVD Sept. 22. Based on the 2006 self-help book The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, the movie stars Katie Holmes as a widowed mother of three who meets a handyman (Josh Lucas) who inspires her with the power of positive thinking.

Other newcomers to the list included Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs at No. 15. The English-language version of the South Korean animated fairy tale movie was released on disc and digital Sept. 22 by Lionsgate.

And at No. 16, fresh of its sweep of the Emmy comedy series categories, was the sixth season of “Schitt’s Creek” distributed digitally by CBS. A DVD of the complete series releases Nov. 10 from Liosngate.

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The previous week’s top title, the fifth season of the fantasy TV series “Outlander,” distributed by Sony Pictures, dropped to No. 10.

Magnolia Pictures’ Alone, a thriller about a recently widowed woman who flees the city only to be kidnapped by a strange man and held captive in his cabin, also rose nine spots, to No. 6.

At No. 7, Warner’s fourth season of “Rick and Morty” returned to the list for the first time since June after the Sept. 22 release of the season on Blu-ray and DVD.

  1. Ava (Vertical)
  2. Yellowstone: Season 3 (Paramount)
  3. The Secret: Dare to Dream (Lionsgate)
  4. Yellowstone: Season 2 (Paramount)
  5. Yellowstone: Season 1 (Paramount)
  6. Alone (Magnolia)
  7. Rick and Morty: Season 4 (Warner)
  8. Harry Potter Complete 8-Film Collection (Warner)
  9. The Tax Collector (RLJ Entertainment)
  10. Outlander: Season 5 (Sony Pictures)
  11. Trolls World Tour (Universal/DreamWorks)
  12. Hocus Pocus (Disney)
  13. RBG (Magnolia)
  14. On the Basis of Sex (Universal)
  15. Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs (Lionsgate)
  16. Schitt’s Creek: Season 6 (CBS)
  17. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Warner)
  18. The King of Staten Island (Universal)
  19. Irresistible (2020, Universal)
  20. Sonic the Hedgehog (Paramount)


Source: DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group
Includes U.S. digital sales, digital rentals, and DVD, Blu-ray Disc and 4K Ultra HD sales for the week ended Sept. 26.

Disney Expanding ‘Mulan’ PVOD Access to FandangoNow, Vudu

Disney’s high-profile premium video-on-demand (Premier Access) experiment, releasing the live-action movie Mulan to Disney+ subscribers, is now expanding to FandangoNow and

Disney will make the movie available Oct. 6 on Vudu and FandangoNow, with pre-orders available now for the same $29.99 purchase price in SD, HD or 4K UHD currently offered to Disney+ subscribers.

Consumers pre-ordering Mulan on Vudu will get a $3 credit toward other movies and TV shows on the platform upon the film’s release. The movie was first released on Sept. 4.

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In mid-September, Yahoo! Finance, citing data from 7Park Data, reported that the movie had been purchased by 9 million Disney+ subscribers for $29.99 each through Sept. 12. That figure suggests the $200 million budget movie generated an impressive $270 million in direct-to-consumer revenue. A representative form 7ParkData later clarified on Twitter that they had estimated Mulan was watched by 29% of people watching Disney+ over the debut weekend, not total subscribers, which lowered estimated revenue to about $60 million to $90 million.

Unlike a typical PVOD transaction that gives a viewer a limited time period, usually 48 hours, to watch the movie, Premier Access is set up to allow Disney+ subscribers to pay the premium fee to unlock the movie on Disney+ for as long as they are subscribers, effectively giving those who pay early access to the movie before it becomes available to all subscribers in a few months.

Tom Green Comedy ‘Interviewing Monsters and Bigfoot’ Due on Demand Oct. 6 From Level 33

The comedy Interviewing Monsters and Bigfoot will come out on demand Oct. 6 from Level 33 Entertainment.

The Canadian duo of Tom Green (Road Trip, Charlie’s Angels, Freddy Got Fingered, “The Tom Green Podcast”) and Les Stroud (“Survivorman,” “Beyond Survival,” 100 Days: Yukon) star in the film about a dysfunctional protagonist, a twisted narrative, and a series of events that builds into a shocker of an ending. It follows by-the-book forest ranger Billy Teal, who is dead set on preventing Cory Mathis from finding the truth about the Mark Twain forest. Mathis, a professor, claims Bigfoot killed his wife turning him into a man obsessed with revenge and partners up with a team of misfits for the capture of the creature, but Ranger Teal, a covert government agency and a serial hoaxer (Rick Dyer) have other plans.

The film also stars Jessi Combs, Teri Eckerle and Stacy Brown Jr.

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Disney+ Unveils Slate of Halloween Content

The Walt Disney Co.’s  SVOD platform, Disney+, on Oct. 1 unveiled its first ever “Disney+ Hallowstream,” featuring a collection of popular Halloween movies, specials, and TV episodes. Movies include Hocus Pocus, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Halloweentown. TV content includes a selection of Disney Channel and Disney Junior Halloween episodes, and 30 “Treehouse of Horror” episodes from “The Simpsons.”

The full collection includes:

Halloween Movies: Don’t Look Under the Bed, Frankenweenie (2012), Girl vs Monster, Halloweentown, Halloweentown High, Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge, Haunted Mansion, Hocus Pocus, Mom’s Got A Date With A Vampire, Mr. Boogedy, Phantom of the Megaplex, Return to Halloweentown, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, The Ghost of Buxley Hall, The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Scream Team, Twitches, Twitches Too, Zombies and Zombies 2.

Shorts and Specials: “Frankenweenie” (1984), “Lonesome Ghosts,” “Mater and the Ghostlight,” “Trick or Treat”

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Disney Channel Halloween Episodes (Episodic Set): “Big City Greens”: “Blood Moon Part 1/Blood Moon Part 2,” “Even Stevens”: “A Very Scary Story,” “Girl Meets World”: “Girl Meets World of Terror,” “Good Luck Charlie”: “Scary Had a Little Lamb,” “Hannah Montana”: “Torn Between Two Hannahs,” “Jessie”: “The Whining,” “K.C. Under Cover”: “All Howls Eve,” “Kim Possible,” “Lizzie McGuire”: “Night of the Day of the Dead,” “Phil of the Future”: “Halloween,” “Phineas and Ferb”: “Terrifying Tri-State Triliogy of Terror (Part 1 and 2),” “Raven’s Home”: “Switch-Or-Treat,” “Shake It Up”: “Haunt It Up,” “Sonny With a Chance”: “A So Random Halloween Special,” “That’s So Raven”: “Don’t Have a Cow,” “The Proud Family”: “A Hero For Halloween,” “The Suite Life of Zack & Cody”: “Ghost of 613,” “Wizards of Waverly Place”: “Halloween.”

Disney Junior Halloween Episodes: “Doc McStuffins”: “Boo-Hoo to You!/It’s Glow Time,” “Doc McStuffins”: “Hallie Halloween/Don’t Fence Me In,” “Doc McStuffins”: “Mirror, Mirror on My Penguin/Hide and Eek!,” “Fancy Nancy”: “Nancy’s Costume Clash/Nancy’s Ghostly Halloween,” “Handy Manny”: “Halloween/Squeeze’s Magic Show,” “Henry Hugglemonster”: “Halloween Scramble/Scouts Night Out,” “Henry Hugglemonster”: “Huggleween Moon,” “Imagination Movers”: “A Monster Problem,” “Imagination Movers”: “Haunted Halloween,” “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”: “Escape from Ghost Island/The Island of Doctor Undergear,” “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”: “Night of the Golden Pumpkin/Trick or Treasure!,” “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”: “Phantoms of Never-Nether Land/Magical Mayhem,” “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”: “Pirate Ghost Story/Queen Izzybella,” “Jake and the Never Land Pirates”: “Tricks, Treats and Treasure!/Season of the Sea Witch,” “Little Einsteins”: “A Little Einsteins Halloween,” “Mickey and the Roadster Racers”: “Goof Mansion/A Doozy Night of Mystery,” “Mickey and the Roadster Racers”: “The Haunted Hot Rod/Pete’s Ghostly Gala,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”: “Mickey’s Monster Musical Part 1 & 2,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse”: “Mickey’s Treat,” “Miles from Tomorrowland”: “Ghost Moon/Stormy Night in a Dark Nebula,” “Muppet Babies”: “Happy Hallowocka!/The Teeth-Chattering Tale of the Haunted Pancakes,” “Puppy Dog Pals”: “Return to the Pumpkin Patch/Haunted Howl-oween,” “Sherriff Callie’s Wild West”: “The Great Hallow,” “The Lion Guard”: “Beware the Zimwi” and “Vampirina”: “Hauntleyween/Frankenflower.”

Hallowstream on Disney+ will complement new original content coming to the service in this month including, “The Right Stuff” premiering on Oct. 9, “Clouds” and “Meet the Chimps” premiering on Oct. 16, the “Frozen” short Once Upon a Snowman premiering on Oct. 23, and “The Mandalorian” season two premiering on Oct. 30.

Amazon Prime Video Nabs Rights to Sacha Baron Cohen’s New ‘Borat’ Movie Set to Stream on Oct. 23

Amazon Prime Video has secured streaming rights to Sacha Baron Cohen’s newest political satire, reprising the British comedian’s Kazakhstan television personality Borat Sagdiyev character in a 2020 presidential election movie filmed over the summer.

The film, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm, is a sequel to the 2006 sleeper hit Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, which generated $262 million at the global box office and was nominated for best adapted screenplay.

In the original film, Cohen’s Borat character travels through the United States to make a documentary featuring real-life interactions with Americans who believe he is a foreigner with little or no understanding of American customs. The film is built around characters from Cohen’s characters “Da Ali G Show,” a British satirical TV show. The second and third seasons of the show ran in the United States on HBO.

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With today’s compromised box office due to the coronavirus pandemic, Amazon saw an opportunity. The film, which reportedly features various Trump campaign events and associates (i.e. former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani) in humorous situations, is set to stream on Prime Video on Oct. 23 in 240 countries and territories.

Anthem Sports & Entertainment Streams ‘Impact Wrestling’ in Russia

Anthem Sports & Entertainment Oct. 1 announced a partnership with Rutube.List — Russia’s largest ad-supported digital platform — to begin streaming Anthem’s combat sports platform, Fight Network, and pro wrestling promotion Impact Wrestling to the video service.

Fight Network and Impact Wrestling programming will launch in a VOD-style format, presented in both English and Russian. Rutube.List claims 10 million viewers throughout Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which includes Armenia, Belarus, Moldova and Kazakhstan, among others.

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Fight Network features more than 300 hours of live sports, in addition to original programs such as “Retrospective,” “Diary,” “In 60” and “After The Fight,” as well as a roster of classic fights and compilations, and series such as “Boxing World Weekly,” “Total Combat,” “International Judo Federation” and “Impact Wrestling.”

Launched in 2002 as a rival to WWE, Impact Wrestling is set to deliver its biggest event of the year next month, when “Bound For Glory” comes to Nashville, Tenn., on Oct. 24. The global pay-per-view event is available through FITE TV (order now), Box Nation UK, DISH, DirecTV, Vubiquity, Rogers, Bell, Shaw and Sasktel. Also, it is available on InDemand platforms, including Altice, Cox, Spectrum, Verizon Fios and Comcast Xfinity.

“Russia is a true powerhouse for combat sports, bringing the world some of the top fighters in the business and boasting an impressive base of passionate and knowledgeable fans,” Jaime Pollack, chief revenue officer, Fight Media Group, said in a statement.

Roman Maksimov, CEO of Rutube.List, said the Fight Network channel’s portfolio of  classic wrestling matches, main-event fights include authentic analysis.

“The best and critical moments of combat events and comments come from athletes and experts,” Maksimov said.

Fubo TV Announces IPO Launch on New York Stock Exchange

Live sports streaming video platform Fubo TV Oct. 1 announced the launch of its initial public offering (IPO) of 15 million shares of common stock valued upwards of $165 million, or $9 to $11 per share.

The underwriters will have a 30-day option to buy an additional 2.25 million shares of common stock from fuboTV at the public offering price. Fubo TV intends to list its common stock on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol “FUBO.”

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The SVOD service is hoping to capitalize on the home-bound consumer looking to be entertained during the coronavirus pandemic. At the end of 2019, Fubo TV had 316,000 subscribers, with ad-revenue up 201%. It posted a $246.9 million loss on revenue of $150.8 million. Through March 31, 2020, losses totaled $62.7 million on revenue of $58.3 million.

Roth Capital Partners and Wedbush Securities are acting as co-managers for the proposed offering.