Kino Lorber Preps 1955 Classic ‘Marty’ for July 19 Blu-ray Disc Release

Kino Lorber is giving the 1955 classic Marty the special-edition treatment, celebrating the first film to win both a best picture Oscar and a Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm award.

Marty will be released July 19 on Blu-ray Disc, at a suggested retail price of $29.95, under Kino Lorber’s Studio Classics banner.

Directed by Delbert Mann, Marty stars Ernest Borgnine as Marty Piletti, a 34-year-old Bronx butcher who has always been shy and uncomfortable around women. So when he meets Clara (Betsy Blair), a lonely schoolteacher who’s just as smitten with him as he is with her, Marty’s on top of the world. But not everyone around him shares Marty’s joy. And when his friends and family continually find fault with Clara, even Marty begins to question his newfound love — until he discovers, in an extraordinary way, the strength and courage to follow his heart.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Marty was nominated for eight Academy Awards and won four, including Best Actor for Borgnine, Best Director for Mann and Best Screenplay for Paddy Chayefsky.

Marty arrives on disc from a brand-new 4K master. The Blu-ray Disc special edition includes a new audio commentary track by entertainment journalists and authors Bryan Reesman and Max Evry. The disc includes both the 1.85:1 and 1.37:1 versions of the film.

Executive: HBO Max Using Netflix as Benchmark for International Expansion

When in doubt, emulate your competition. That seemed to be the gist of a keynote presentation by Johannes Larcher, head of HBO Max International, at the MipTV confab in Cannes, France.

Speaking April 5 at the global media event, Larcher said Netflix’s reported $12 billion content spending in 2021 is projected to top $21 billion in 2026. The executive, who joined WarnerMedia in 2020, contends that exponential growth in spending would help Netflix skyrocket its international footprint from 147 million subscribers last year to an estimated 266 million subs in the next four years.

“[That] $9 billion [in] additional programming dollars buys a lot of content,” Larcher said. “That buys you almost 700 episodes of ‘The Crown,’ 50 Spider Man: No Way Home movies. That ability to spend more on content on behalf of [subscribers] drives the need to go global.”

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

And how does that relate to HBO Max?

Larcher said Max, which ended 2021 with 27 million subs outside the U.S., is now available in 61 territories globally after launching last month in 15 new European countries, including the Netherlands, Portugal, Hungary, Poland and Romania. The streamer is set to launch operations later this year in Turkey, Greece, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. There are also plans for further expansion to Southeast Asia.

Notably absent: the U.K., France and Germany, which are still contracted to existing HBO pay-TV distribution deals.

“That’s why all of us [streamers] desire to go global,” Larcher said, adding that Max is upping its European original content production from 10 programs in 2019, to 40 shows by 2023. “There are slight variations on how we position our brand market by market.”

The executive said he believes that with the April 11 completion of Discovery’s minority stake, majority control acquisition of WarnerMedia, the new Warner Bros. Discovery company will help Max reach its international growth objectives.

“It will diversify our content, our service,” Larcher said of the deal that will combine Max with the Discovery+ SVOD service. “We have a shared vision of what the product should be in terms of packaging and how we go to market.”

Cinema Paradiso


$49.95 UHD BD;
Rated ‘R.’
Stars Philippe Noiret, Enzo Cannavale, Antonella Attili, Marco Leonardi, Salvatore Cascio, Jacques Perrin, Agnese Nano.

With movie theaters facing an existential threat, there is perhaps no better time to revisit this 1989 Best Foreign Film Oscar winner about the magic of cinema, available in 4K for the first time.

Through extended flashbacks, the Italian film traces one man’s love affair with the movies beginning as a boy in war torn Sicily in the pre-television era. The boy Toto is fascinated by his small town’s movie theater and the projectionist, Alfredo, who creates magic on the screen from his small booth above the balcony. The booth also houses treasure, stolen kiss clips from various films that the local priest has had the projectionist excise from reels shown in the theater. Through his special relationship with the projectionist and the theater, the fatherless boy grows to cherish the magic of cinematic storytelling. Revisiting the town as an accomplished filmmaker, he reminisces about love, movies and loss.

Director Giuseppe Tornatore’s loving homage to the cinema also earned five BAFTA Awards, the Grand Prize of the Jury at the Cannes Film Festival and many more plaudits.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

The original award-winning theatrical version of Tornatore’s classic is presented here for the first time on 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray with DolbyVision. Special features include audio commentary with Tornatore and Italian cinema expert critic Millicent Marcus; “A Dream of Sicily,” a 52-minute documentary profile of Tornatore featuring interviews with the director and extracts from his early home movies and interviews with director Francesco Rosi and painter Peppino Ducato, set to music by Ennio Morricone; “A Bear and a Mouse in Paradise,” a 27-minute documentary on the making of Cinema Paradiso and the characters of Toto and Alfredo, featuring interviews with the actors who play them, Philippe Noiret and Salvatore Cascio, as well as Tornatore; “The Kissing Sequence,” in which Tornatore discusses the origins of the kissing scenes with clips identifying each scene; and the original director’s cut theatrical trailer and 25th anniversary re-release trailer. This 4K combo pack also includes the expanded director’s cut on Blu-ray, which delves deeper into Salvatore’s backstory.

Follow us on Instagram

While the extras provide interesting backstory information, especially about the climactic and affecting “Kissing Sequence,” the real star here is the film itself polished for 4K. I saw the film when it first came out, and it has lost none of its power. As we move into the digital age, and physical media and theatergoing are increasingly labeled passé, Cinema Paradiso is a loving look back at moviegoing in a time when moving pictures were projected on a film strip of successive photos, capturing moments of magic.

IHS: Domestic 4K UHD TV Shipments Surge Due to Pending Chinese Tariffs

Sales and shipments of 4K UHD televisions has hit 60% market penetration in some parts of the world, including the United States, according to new data from IHS Markit.

Speaking Oct. 14 at the MIPCOM confab in Cannes, France, Paul Gray, research analysis director at the London-based IHS, said 4K UHD TVs now exceed more than half of all TV shipments worldwide.

The analyst contends there are more than 260 million 4K UHD households globally — a tally that is expected to reach 574 million households by 2023, according to, which reported Gray’s comments from France. About 34% of North American homes have 4KUHD TVs, increasing to 64% in the next four years.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Notably, domestic shipments of 4K UHD TVs surged in North America as distributors stockpile inventory ahead of any proposed tariff increases on Chinese-manufactured products by the Trump Administration.

Meanwhile, next-generation 8K resolution continues to grow slowly with 167,000 display units shipped in 2019. This is expected to reach 3 million units by 2023.

Kino Lorber Sets Aug. 20 Home Release Date for Reggae Film ‘Babylon’

Kino Lorber has announced the Aug. 20 Blu-ray and DVD release of Babylon, about a young reggae deejay in Margaret Thatcher-era Great Britain who pursues his musical ambitions, battling against the racism and xenophobia of employers, neighbors, police and the National Front.

From director Franco Bosso, Babylon had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in 1980 but went unreleased in the United States due to its controversial plot that critics feared could cause racial tension.

The Blu-ray Disc has a suggested retail price of $29.95, while the DVD is priced at $19.95.

Both disc editions come with such bonus features as audio commentary with director Rosso, screenwriter Martin Stellman, actor Brinsley Forde (the frontman of British group Aswad, who plays the deejay) and producer Gavrik Losey; a booklet essay by music journalist Mike Rubin; Dread Beat and Blood (1979), a short documentary on “dub poet” Linton Kwesi Johnson directed by Rosso; the music video for Vivien Goldman’s “Launderette,” starring actor Archie Pool from Babylon; new interviews with Brinsley Forde and Dennis Bovell; brand-new subtitles (preserving the nuances of the Jamaican patois and the cockney slang); a restoration featurette; and Q&A with cast and crew recorded at the BFI Southbank in 2008.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Babylon had its U.S. theatrical premiere in March 2019 from Kino Lorber and Seventy-Seven, a new boutique film label. Opening to positive reviews at BAM in New York and Laemmle Glendale in Los Angeles, Babylon went on to a five-month, 60-plus-city theatrical run with engagements in such key markets as Austin, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Nashville, Boston, Portland, Atlanta, Miami, Vancouver, Toronto and others.

Written by Martin Stellman (Quadrophenia) and shot by two-time Oscar winner Chris Menges (The Killing Fields), Babylon boasts a soundtrack featuring Aswad, Johnny Clarke, and more, anchored by legendary producer Dennis Bovell’s (The Slits) atmospheric score.

Well Go USA Acquires North American Rights to Cannes Feature ‘First Love’

Well Go USA Entertainment has acquired the North American rights to Japanese director Takashi Miike’s First Love following its world premiere in Director’s Fortnight at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival.

It will be released in select theaters later this year, with the digital and home entertainment release scheduled for the first quarter of 2020.

The deal was negotiated by Doris Pfardrescher on behalf of Well Go USA and HanWay Films with ICM Partners on behalf of the filmmakers.

First Love marks the fourth collaboration between Academy Awardwinning producer Jeremy Thomas (The Last Emperor) and Miike (Blade of the Immortal, Hara-Kiri, 13 Assassins). A noir-tinged yakuza film blending genres, it’s the story of a young boxer and a call girl who fall passionately in love while getting innocently caught up in a drug-smuggling scheme over the course of one night in Tokyo. The film stars Masataka Kubota (13 AssassinsGintama 2: Rules Are Made to Be Broken, Tokyo Ghoul), Nao Omori (Ichi The Killer), Shota Sometani (Samurai Marathon) and newcomer Sakurako Konishi.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

“Takashi Miike is one of the most exciting filmmakers working in international cinema today,” Doris Pfardrescher, president and CEO of Well Go USA, said in a statement. “His new film, First Love, continues his extraordinary track record for interesting and provocative films and audiences will be blown away.”

HanWay Films is handling worldwide sales and distribution, alongside TOEI Films who handle Asia and Australasia.

Netflix Acquires Worldwide Rights to Cannes Award Winners ‘Atlantics’ and ‘I Lost My Body’

Netflix has acquired worldwide rights to the Grand Prix Winner Atlantics, from first-time director Mati Diop, and Critics’ Week Award winner I Lost My Body, an animated feature, at the Cannes Film Festival.

Subscribe HERE to the FREE Media Play News Daily Newsletter!

Netflix has acquired worldwide rights (excluding China, Benelux, Switzerland, Russia, France) to Atlantics, set along the Atlantic coast in a suburb of Dakar. Ada, 17, is in love with Souleiman, a young construction worker, but she has been promised to another man. One night, Souleiman and his co-workers leave the country by sea, in hopes of a better future. Several days later, a fire ruins Ada’s wedding and a mysterious fever starts to spread. Little does Ada know that Souleiman has returned.

Director Diop is the first black woman to compete for the Palme d’Or at Cannes.

Netflix also has acquired worldwide rights (excluding China, Benelux, Turkey, France) to I Lost My Body, a film by Jérémy Clapin that was named the best film of the independent International Critics’ Week section at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival and was awarded the Nespresso Grand Prize in the section. In the animated film, a cut-off hand escapes from a dissection lab with the goal of getting back to its body. As it scrambles through the pitfalls of Paris, it remembers its life with the young man to whom it was once attached.

IHS Forecasts Strong Global 4K UHD TV Growth

While 4K Ultra HD televisions have become commonplace in the United States at Best Buy, Walmart and Target, among other retailers, global adoption of the new high-definition format is still picking up speed, according to new data from IHS Markit.

The London-based research firm cited declining prices for big-screen TV driving wider consumer adoption. Speaking at the MIPTV confab April 8-11 in Cannes, France, Paul Gray, director research and analysis, technology, media & telecom, said there are more than 142 4K UHD channels on the market, including 49 channels in Europe.

Subscribe HERE for FREE Daily Newsletter!

Gray says that next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo (July 24 – Aug. 9, 2020) generate will 4K UHD unit sales of 130 million worldwide.

IHS estimates that by 2022, 60% of North American households own at least one UHD video display, with another 40% among Western Europe homes.

Indeed, the report suggests that by 2022, TV’s with 75-inch screen sizes will drop to around $1,000, with some 8K units priced at $2,000.

“It has taken only five years: shipments broke 1% for the first time in Q4 2013. This is as fast as the move from standard definition to HD resolutions,” Gray said, as reported by Advanced-Television.



French Broadcaster Canal+ Gets Shorter Theatrical Window

The French theatrical window is famously long and a matter of law. Changing it simply isn’t an option – unless you’re Canal+, a major financial backer of independent cinema in France.

The Canal+ Group recently announced a new agreement with French regulators that enables its pay-TV service to broadcast theatrical releases from six months after their box office debut.

Typically, French broadcasters must wait at least 10 months. But with declining pay-TV subs in the face of increased competition from over-the-top video platforms, the status quo is changing.

In exchange for the shorter window, Canal+ renewed a commitment to spend more than $200 million annually funding local French film productions through 2023.

The deal also allows Studiocanal, the company’s TV and theatrical unit, for the first time to produce four in-house productions per year—rather than just funding third-party content.

Meanwhile, subscription streaming video services such as Netflix can wait up to three years before gaining access to French theatrical titles – a primary reason why the SVOD pioneer remains engaged in a protracted dispute with the Cannes Film Festival and French exhibitors regarding streaming its original movies concurrent with box office.

While the impasse between Netflix and French exhibitors continues to generate headlines, government officials recognize changing market conditions.

The streaming service, along with Amazon Prime Video and other over-the-top video services, can now stream theatrical titles 15 months after their box office debut, provided they fund local productions – something Netflix and Amazon are doing.

In September, Netflix announced it was producing 14 original series in France in an effort to reach the 30% local content mandate. Netflix reportedly ended the third quarter with about 3.5 million French subscribers.

In February, Amazon announced its first French/German series co-production, a comedy titled, “Deutsch-Les Landes.”

“This is just the beginning for us, as we will keep on bringing the best of French and international TV, including new French Originals, to our customers here,” Jay Marine, VP of Amazon Video EU, said at the time.


Amazon Bows ‘Critically Acclaimed’ Page Showcasing Globally Nominated, Winning Movies and TV Shows

Amazon has developed a niche revenue stream endorsing third-party over-the-top video services through its Prime Channels platform. Now, the e-commerce behemoth has launched a page/link highlighting original and third-party movies and TV shows garnering the industry recognition worldwide.

Dubbed “Critically Acclaimed,” the page showcases movies and TV shows nominated for, and winners of the Golden Globes, Oscars, Emmys, Golden Lion (Italy), Filmfare (India), BAFTA (United Kingdom), Sundance, Golden Bear (Germany), Cannes (France), Golden Leopard (Switzerland), and European Film Academy recognition.

Separately, Amazon released its January slate of new series and movies available for rent, purchase and streaming on Prime Video.

Available for purchase:

Jan. 8

The Old Man & The Gun

Available for streaming:

Jan. 13

“True Detective, Season 3,” HBO

“Vera, Season 9,” Britbox

Jan. 14

“Victoria, Season 3,” PBS Masterpiece

Jan. 17

“Star Trek: Discovery, Season 2,” CBS All Access

January 20

“Crashing, Season 3,” HBO

“High Maintenance, Season 3,” HBO

“SMILF, Season 2,” Showtime

“Shameless, Season 9,” Showtime

“Black Monday, Season 1,” Showtime

Jan. 21

 “Big Brother: Celebrity Edition, Season 2,” CBS All Access

New series on Prime Video:

Jan. 1

 “The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle. Season 1b” (Prime Original series),

“Breaking Big, Season 1”

“Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, Seasons 1, 5-19”

“First Civilizations, Season 1”

“Frontline, Season 36”

“Nova Wonders, Season 1”


A Beautiful Mind (2001)

Alpha Dog (2006)

Brazil (1985)

GI Jews: Jewish Americans in World War II (2018)

Going to War (2018)

Jane Eyre (2011)

Reprisal (2018)

Rwanda: The Royal Tour (2018)

The Art of the Shine (2018)

The Jazz Ambassadors (2018)

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

 Jan. 3

Leave No Trace (2018)

Jan. 4

Beautiful Boy (Prime Original movie)

Sherlock Gnomes (2018)

Jan. 11

“Informer,Season 2” (Prime Original series)

Jan. 12

Final Score

Jan. 13

Eighth Grade (2018)

Jan. 16

The Debt (2010)

Jan. 18

 “The Grand Tour, Season 3” (Prime Original series)

Jan. 19

Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018)

Jan. 25

“Four More Shots Please! Season 1” (Prime Original series)

Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014)

Jan. 29

“Endeavour, Season 5”