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January 11, 2016

Weekly Update from Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Representative: January 8, 2016

Happy Friday everyone and please accept my very best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2016. 

From my perspective this year is shaping up to be one of the busiest ever for Ontario film and television stakeholders.

We're certainly starting the year off right with two major Ontario-shot films in leading contention this awards season. In addition to Canadian-Irish co-production Room which has garnered a number of Golden Globe nominations, including best picture, the Toronto-shot and serviced Spotlight has also earned GG nods for best picture, director and screenplay. It's exciting and gratifying to see so much local talent being recognized on a global scale.

Business here in Los Angeles continues to boom as tax credits that were introduced last summer positively affect production levels. As detailed in Variety below, 11 television shows were recently named as recipients in the second round of allocations for small screen projects and local media is touting the inclusion of Mistresses, which will relocate form Vancouver as a result.
http://variety.com/2015/tv/news/animal-kingdom-series-selena-gomez-series-california-filming-credit-1201666270/

Media the last few weeks have been full of stories about upcoming trends for 2016 and the years ahead and my first clippings roundup of 2016 seems like a good spot to gather some of those together to shed some light on what might be in store for film and television stakeholders.

It is certain that cord cutting is a continuing consumer trend, but several outlets are starting to question whether an abundance of choice for viewers threatens to create its own issues regarding ease and affordability. As detailed in the Los Angeles Times below, the sheer number of options can be overwhelming for many consumers who are used to making one payment for their TV service.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-01013-ct-ott-mania-20151229-story.html

Netflix looks poised for global domination in the year ahead. Also from the L.A. Times, news that the streaming giant has activated service in 130 additional countries, including Russia, India, South Korea and Saudi Arabia, meaning since its 2007 launch, Netflix has grown to include services in more than 190 countries.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-netflix-global-20160106-story.html

The globalization of theatrical box office is also a trend which shows no sign of slowing, particularly as it is being driven by the rapid proliferation of movie screens in China. The L.A. Times below explains that while domestic attendance levels have remained flat for nearly a decade, more than ever, studios are greenlighting movies that are more likely to travel abroad, tailoring marketing campaigns to other countries' tastes and making casting decisions with the international audience in mind.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-global-box-office-20151231-story.html

Further to the explosive growth of the film industry in China, The Atlantic published a fascinating year-end look at the massive $8.2 billion Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis, a development by the Dalian Wanda Group that includes a movie studio, a theme park and entertainment center, a 4,000-room resort-hotel complex, a shopping mall, a 300-berth yacht club, a celebrity wax museum, and a hospital. If you have time to spare I recommend digging into the extensive article below which details why Wang Jianlin, the 61-year-old founder and chairman of the Wanda Group, is already one of the most powerful men in Hollywood.
http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2015/12/hollywood-on-the-yellow-sea/413185/

On the heels of the Atlantic article came news this week that the Wanda Group has acquired a majority stake in Legendary Entertainment.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/chinas-wanda-acquiring-controlling-stake-852068

The last few years have been universally regarded as a golden age in scripted television, but the new co-chairman and co-chief executive of Endemol Shine North America says that doesn't mean reality television is going anywhere. The L.A. Times this week published a wide-ranging interview with Cris Abrego in which he shares his view that "Reality is not going away".
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/envelope/cotown/la-et-ct-on-the-record-cris-abrego-20160107-story.html

Finally this week, the top Canadian trends of the previous year made headlines in Los Angeles: the Hollywood Reporter below details our biggest media and entertainment industry stories of 2015.
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/canada-2015-review-cord-cutting-849787

You'll find the full text for the linked articles below my signature. Please feel free to distribute this e-mail widely and to get in touch with comments or links for inclusion.

I'll be hosting another Ontario Night mixer for ex-pats working in the industry next week. If you are in Los Angeles, please join me and the new Ontario Film Commissioner Justin Cutler at the State Social House on Sunset Blvd. on Tuesday the 12th from 7-10 pm.

Warmest regards,

Kelly

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