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August 15, 2018

August 3rd News Report from your Los Angeles Representative

Happy Friday everyone,

My MoviePass card didn't work at the theater last Sunday and now I'm one of three million subscribers who are wondering whether it can ever be counted on to work again. The subscription service, headed by a Netflix co-founder, was once touted as "The Disruption That Movie Theaters Desperately Need", but, as detailed in the Washington Post below, it doesn’t appear to have enough money to pay for all of its subscribers’ movie tickets and pundits are predicting it could shutter its doors within a week.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2018/08/01/the-rise-and-decline-of-moviepass-the-subscription-service-that-flew-too-close-to-the-sun/?utm_term=.621034399538

No matter what happens to MoviePass, it appears that the disruption of film distribution will continue. The Department of Justice this week announced that it will review the consent decrees that govern how movie studios distribute films to exhibitors. As reported in Variety below, if the review leads to significant changes, it could mean consolidation and the potential lifting of the longtime prohibition on studio distributors owning movie theaters.
https://variety.com/2018/politics/news/consent-decrees-department-of-justice-1202893374/

The last two articles were just concerned with Netflix indirectly: this one deals directly with the company's secretive inner workings that have long fascinated industry watchers. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, a top Netflix executive pulled back the veil just a bit this week by revealing that the company doesn’t make programming decisions based on demographics, but rather on the tastes of broadly defined groups of subscribers who gravitate toward the same shows.
http://www.latimes.com/business/hollywood/la-fi-ct-tca-netflix-cindy-holland-20180729-story.html

Global production volumes have skyrocketed in recent years and the UK has been a huge beneficiary of that. The Times this week took an in-depth look at the why some of Hollywood's biggest franchises are gravitating towards London and why industry stakeholders there are not concerned that Brexit will impact levels of service production.
http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-ca-mn-london-hollywood-studio-production-20180727-story.html

Diversity continues to emerge as a key priority in the screen-based industries. As detailed in the Hollywood Reporter this week, it was Asian-American legislators who were the drivers behind the unprecedented diversity provisions contained in the recent extension of California's film and television tax credits.
https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/california-film-tax-credit-surprising-asian-american-push-new-diversity-provisions-1131467

Finally this week, the Toronto International Film Festival is fast approaching and its slate of Canadian films was announced this week to great fanfare. The Wrap reports that nine of the 19 homegrown films are directed by women.
https://www.thewrap.com/toronto-film-festival-adds-19-films/

Warmest regards,
Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Representative
Toronto/ Ontario Film Office

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