Doc ‘Hot Doug’s: The Movie’ Due on DVD, Digital and VOD June 25 From Random Media

The documentary Hot Doug’s: The Movie is coming to DVD, digital and VOD June 25 from Random Media and Markos Films.

The film follows chef Doug Sohn, who has a love of “encased meats” and a desire to create a sausage superstore. Hot Doug’s opened in 2001 and quickly became a phenomenon, ushering in the era of gourmet-casual dining and attracting fans from around the world, including Anthony Bourdain, who included it as “one of the 13 places to eat before you die.’’  Love for Doug and his crew, who operated like family, made the restaurant an institution, with fans waiting in line for hours to try culinary delicacies that transcended the average hot dog, made with ingredients including foie gras, venison, curry pork and escargot and bearing names such as The Joe Strummer, The Anna Kendrick and The Elvis.

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The film follows Sohn from being at the top of his game to a decision to close his restaurant at the height of its popularity, after 13 years in business.

Hot Doug’s: the Movie – Trailer from Christopher Markos on Vimeo.


Drama ‘Wasted’ Headed to DVD, Digital and VOD June 11 From Random Media

The drama Wasted is coming to DVD, digital and VOD June 11 from Random Media and Homebird Films.

The minimalist film with limited dialogue is directed and produced by Lee Price. It’s an urban tale of a young homeless man (George Welton) struggling to survive, as he demonstrates the need for human connection. This leads him into conflict with people he may or may not have known in the past. Ultimately, his need to find a place in the world drives him to extremes.

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The film also stars Paul James Mackenzie, Tristan March, Adrienne Mackenzkie and Connor Biggs.

Wasted Official Trailer from Random Media on Vimeo.


Spiritual Films ‘The Answer’ and ‘Noah’ Coming to DVD, Digital in June From Virgil

Virgil Films will release two spiritual films, The Answer and Noah, on DVD, EST and VOD in June.

Noah, coming June 11, is a Sight & Sound Theatres stage production projected to more than 800 movie theaters in April. More than 2 million people have attended the live show, which follows the Bible story of Noah as he fulfills God’s command to build an ark and fill it with animals. Sets towered four stories above the stage.

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Due June 18 is The Answer, which chronicles the life of American James Donald Walters, later known as Swami Kriyananda. It portrays his youthful quest for truth which took him from his birthplace in Romania to Hollywood, where he meets and is accepted as a disciple of Indian Master Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the bestseller Autobiography of a Yogi, first published in 1946.

Documentary ‘Brave Girls’ Coming to DVD and Digital June 4 From Virgil

Brave Girls, a documentary about Indian women trying to break free from cultural traditions, is coming to DVD, Digital HD and VOD June 4 from Virgil Films.

Directed by Ellie Walton and Yashaswi Desai, the film portrays three young Indian women in a conservative Muslim town seeking to change their futures through education and self-determination. For Karishma, Apsana and Samira, going back to school to complete their secondary education represented a seismic shift in worldview and a reappraisal of what their lives could become.

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But as final exams approached, their families began preparations for their weddings. Immediately, they were forced to choose between their evolving dreams and their obligations to their community. Apsana broke her arranged engagement the day before her wedding to continue her education; Karishma made an unthinkable choice by running away and marrying a forbidden love; Samira accepted her fate and married as was expected of her, leaving her family behind. These stories combined show the complexity that emerges on the path to self-determination within a conservative, Muslim town in Gujarat, India.

Report: Multiscreen Data Changing TV Viewership Numbers

The final season of “Game of Thrones” set weekly viewership records for both the series and HBO network. Much of that data is attributed to how consumers have changed watching TV from a live event to on-demand and over-the-top streaming video.

New analysis from nonprofit Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board (BARB) in the United Kingdom contends traditional “overnight” viewership data represents only part of the picture. Indeed, displacement viewing has made tracking data correctly more complicated.

BARB suggests that on average people watch 29.3 daily minutes of time-shifted TV content, which results in a 15% uptick in overnight viewership. Sometimes that margin is even greater.

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Live viewing for the first episode of reality series “Shipwrecked” on Jan. 28th was watched by 219,000 people. But the 7-day viewership tally ballooned to 685,000.

TV viewership isn’t limited to the television anymore, thanks to TV Everywhere apps.

“Love Island” gained 27% incremental viewing from non-TV devices, while “Family Guy” viewership increased 8%. Nonetheless, as a whole, non-TV set devices add less than 2% to TV set viewing, according to BARB.

The report found that 1.15 million people watched the second episode of “Save Me” via Sky On Demand pre-broadcast. This was more than half of the total broadcast audience of 2.19 million. This trend increased throughout the series, with the final episode watched by 83% of viewers via Sky On Demand pre-broadcast.

BARB believes re-examining viewership trends is doubly important among the younger demo. Ad-supported YouTube and SVOD services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Video remain the top challengers to pay-TV.

The report suggests that in 2018, unidentified viewing accounted for 48 daily minutes for all individuals, rising to 71 minutes for 16-34-year-olds.

BARB believes that for television to become a more efficient, targeted and digital-like medium, content and distribution need to be more vertically integrated.

“In this future, new measurement opportunities may complement the data offered by BARB through the likes of set-top box data. A more digital-like television future offers the opportunity to deliver precision at scale,” read the report.

Trusted and accurate measurement remains essential to accountability, planning and optimization, and increasingly so in a world where we see displacement, fragmentation and disruption.

“Ultimately, we need to understand the value that each [viewer] exposure drives for advertisers. The outcomes are what are important; measurement allows us to link exposure to value,” said BARB.

“The industry must come up with a measurement solution enabling better understanding of viewing patterns across all screens and channels. This is still some years away, even in the most advanced markets.”

Video Streaming Widens Appeal Over Pay-TV Among Telecom Customers

Video streaming expanded its lead over subscription TV service in terms of customer satisfaction, rising to a score of 76 on the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s 100-point scale.

According to the ACSI Telecommunications Report 2018-2019, subscription TV service stagnated at 62, tied with internet service providers for last place among all industries tracked by the ACSI — subscription TV, ISPs, fixed-line telephone service, video-on-demand service and video streaming service.

Video streaming topped all industries tracked.

“Video streaming once again proves itself to be the best of the telecom industries in customer satisfaction,” said David VanAmburg, managing director at the ACSI. “Traditional telecom providers have tried to step up their game, but they’re not providing original content the way video streaming is, and in part they suffer guilt by association — if customers aren’t satisfied overall with Comcast, they’re probably going to ding Comcast’s on-demand service too.”

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Among video streaming services, Netflix secured first place at 79 after sharing the lead with Sony’s PlayStation Vue and Amazon Twitch the previous year. Netflix ranked at the top for original content among all streaming services, according to the ACSI. Sony’s PlayStation Vue landed in second place at 78, followed by the Microsoft Store at 77. Hulu stepped up to match Amazon Prime Video and Apple iTunes at 76. Five services clustered at 75: CBS All Access, Google Play, Amazon’s gaming platform Twitch, Walmart’s Vudu and Google’s YouTube. Dish Network’s Sling TV was the most improved, meeting HBO at 74. Starz matched the combined score of smaller platforms at 72, while Showtime followed close behind at 71. AT&T’s DirecTV Now fell to 69, ahead of only Sony Crackle, which remained unchanged at 68.

For the past six years, customer satisfaction with subscription TV has languished in the mid-to-low 60s, according to the study. AT&T’s U-verse TV held the lead for subscription TV at 69, followed by Verizon’s Fios at 68 and Dish Network at 67. AT&T’s satellite TV service DirecTV came in at 66, Altice’s Optimum tallied 61, and Charter’s Spectrum came in at 59 to tie with Cox Communications. Frontier Communications and Comcast’s Xfinity came in at 57. Mediacom followed closely at 56. Altice’s Suddenlink tumbles to the bottom of the category at 55.

Customer satisfaction with video-on-demand service slipped to an ACSI score of 67 as viewers continue to turn toward streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu, according to the study. AT&T’s U-verse TV service held the lead a year ago, but this year shared the top spot with Verizon’s Fios at a score of 72. Satellite provider Dish Network dropped to 71 but remained just ahead of DirecTV, unchanged at 70. Frontier Communications debuted in the category with a score of 67, in line with the industry average. Three decliners met at 66: Cox Communications, Altice’s Optimum and Comcast’s Xfinity. Charter’s Spectrum remains unchanged at the bottom of the category with a 64.

Unchanged at a score of 62, ISPs remain at the bottom of the ACSI rankings. Most ISPs are still falling short of providing good service at an affordable price, according to the ACSI release. Verizon’s Fios was stable at the top of the category with an ACSI score of 70, but AT&T Internet closed in at 69. Altice’s Optimum fell to 63 but remained the leader among coaxial providers. Meanwhile, Comcast’s Xfinity inched closer to the industry average at 61. Cox Communications tallied 60, tying Altice’s Suddenlink. Charter’s Spectrum and CenturyLink came in at 59.

Comedy ‘What Men Want’ Tops FandangoNow Chart

The comedy What Men Want was the top film purchased and/or rented on FandangoNow for the week ended May 12.

FandangoNow is movie site Fandango’s transactional VOD service.

The Paramount film, starring Taraji P. Henson and Tracy Morgan, earned $54.6 million in theaters.

Universal’s How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, the third in the series about a boy and his dragon, dropped one spot to No. 2. It made $160 million at the box office. Meanwhile, the “How to Train Your Dragon” trilogy flew up one spot to No. 8, showing continued strong interest in the franchise for the week.

Warner’s animated sequel The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, which earned $105.8 million in theaters, debuted in the third spot on the chart.

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Jumping up one spot from No. 5 in the previous week to No. 4 was Lionsgate’s Cold Pursuit, starring Liam Neeson as a grieving snowplow driver who seeks revenge against the drug dealers who killed his son. The film earned $32 million at the box office.

Warner’s DC superhero flick Aquaman floated up from No. 9 to No. 5.

Boosted by the impending May 17 theatrical debut of the third installment in the Lionsgate series, the double feature of John Wick and John Wick 2, starring Keanu Reeves as a hitman out for revenge, landed at No. 10 on the week’s chart.

The top 10 films purchased and/or rented on FandangoNow for the week ended May 12 were:

  1. What Men Want*
  2. How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World*
  3. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part *
  4. Cold Pursuit*
  5. Aquaman *
  6. Glass*
  7. Isn’t It Romantic*
  8. “How to Train Your Dragon” Trilogy*
  9. The Mule*
  10. John Wick and John Wick: Chapter 2 (Double Feature) *

*Available in 4K

‘Reinventing Rosalee’ Director Found a Captivating Subject in Her Centenarian Mother

Author and media commentator Lillian Glass didn’t have to look far for the subject of her first film. She had a captivating story in her own family, the life of her centenarian mother, whose experiences and positive attitude offered as much drama and inspiration as a fictional saga.

Her documentary Reinventing Rosalee, about Rosalee Glass, who lives life to the fullest, will come out on digital, VOD and DVD May 7 from Random Media in time for Mother’s Day.

Despite having lost family in the Holocaust and labor camps, among other tragedies, Rosalee started taking piano lessons in her 80s, become a successful actress with a Super Bowl commercial in her 90s and, for her 100th birthday, released a book 100 Years of Wisdom and started an online life advice service. She celebrated her 102nd birthday on Jan. 28, 2019, with recognition by the mayor of Los Angeles and city council.

“It’s a lesson that it’s never too late to live your dream,” said the director of her film.

The documentary recounts both good times and bad in the life of Rosalee, who was sent to a Siberian gulag during World War II and lost her family in the Warsaw ghetto. She also lost two children in those early years, one to starvation and one to tuberculosis.

“I didn’t really realize the impact that the children that she lost had on her,” said her daughter. “It was quite severe.”

The director also found out about other struggles, including how Rosalee survived when her husband had tuberculosis and had to be taken to a hospital in Germany.

“She didn’t have money to see him,” her daughter said. “She took off her bra and made a pattern and started selling brassieres to people and was able to have the fare to go back and forth to see her husband. It’s inspiring, the kind of ingenuity that she had, just amazing strength and fortitude.”

For the documentary, Lillian Glass did extensive research on the fate of her mother’s family. In the Russian archives, she found out that Rosalee’s brother was pulled off a train, sentenced to hard labor and then sent into the Russian Army. That’s where the trail stops.

The rest of the family died in the Warsaw ghetto. The director and her mother visited the location of Rosalee’s former home for the film.

“We went to Poland and gave her relatives, her mother, her father, her sisters, who died in the Warsaw ghetto, an honorable burial, taking their photographs and burying them where they had lived,” the director said. “Her home was no longer there, but the area is, so we kind of buried it where the home would have been…. It was very emotional for her because this was the first time that she was able to grieve the loss of that family that she had.”

To recount Rosalee’s early life, the director had to get creative. “There’s no footage from back then, so one of the fun things I did was that Rosalee’s husband Abraham looked just like Cary Grant when he was younger, so I took a lot of public domain footage of Cary Grant movies and applied them appropriately and then I looked at 1926 Russian films where we got the gulags,” the director recalled.

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum also helped her locate some of the footage.

“It was just really a lot of research and having been a professor and a researcher early in my life, I really see that those skill sets are very valuable as a film producer and director,” she said.

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Further tragedy in Rosalee’s senior years, the death of her son in a medical malpractice incident after losing her husband of 60 years, almost broke her spirit.

“She became severely, severely, severely depressed,” her daughter recalled. “Then one day kind of like a miracle happened. She woke up and said, ‘I’m going to live life to the fullest,’ and what she did was like amazing. She started taking tango dancing lessons, piano lessons, tai chi, all these kinds of things she never did before, even an acting class and the acting teacher said she was so good that she should get an agent, which she did, and then she became an actress at 86. At 94, she won a beauty pageant, a senior beauty pageant, won Miss Congeniality in the Senior California Pageant. She then at 97 starred in a Super Bowl commercial, and at 99 wrote this book and at 100, she rode the dogsled in Alaska. At 101, she went to the Cannes Film Festival, and now she’s going to premieres and everything regarding her film.”

The film has won more than 40 awards throughout the world, the director said, and it has also inspired moviegoers.

“One person who saw the film hadn’t spoken to his mother in 10 years,” the director said. “He then picked up the phone and talked to her and immediately made a reservation and flew there the next day. Another brother and sister didn’t talk to both of their parents for many, many years and made up after seeing this film.”

Rosalee’s life is a lesson in hope and having a positive attitude, the director said, noting that her mother harbors no hate as she embarks on new experiences.

“It shows you that it’s never too late to just try things, take risks, live your dream and that bad times don’t last forever,” the director said.

Random Media’s ‘Reinventing Rosalee’ Screens in Beverly Hills

Hollywood stars appeared on the red carpet April 2 in Beverly Hills, Calif., for a special launch screening of Random Media’s documentary Reinventing Rosalee, about Rosalee Glass, a 102-year-old Holocaust survivor who transforms her destiny. The film will come out on DVD, VOD and digital May 7.

Documentary ‘Reinventing Rosalee’ Coming to Digital, VOD and DVD May 7 From Random Media

The documentary Reinventing Rosalee, about a centenarian who lives life to the fullest, will come out on digital, VOD and DVD May 7 from Random Media in time for Mother’s Day.

A survivor of the holocaust and labor camps, Rosalee Glass didn’t want to go on after she lost her third child and her husband of 60 years. But she decided one day to live the rest of her life to the fullest, taking piano lessons in her 80s, becoming a successful actress in the 90s and, for her 100th birthday, releasing a book 100 Years of Wisdom and starting an online life advice service.

She celebrated her 102nd birthday on Jan. 28, 2019, with recognition by the mayor of Los Angeles and city council.

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Directed by her daughter Lillian Glass, Reinventing Rosalee is having a theatrical run in New York and Los Angeles in April prior to its home entertainment release.