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DAILY NEWS:’s Future; Online Movie Awards; and Syndication

DAILY NEWS:'s Future; Online Movie Awards; and Syndication

DAILY NEWS:'s Future; Online Movie Awards; and Syndication

by Eugene Hernandez and Maud Kersnowski/indieWIRE

>> With Sundance in His Sights,’s Shambro Considers The Future In An Uncertain Period

(indieWIRE/ 12.13.00) — In a relatively brief statement released late
yesterday, echoed its comments to indieWIRE on Monday,
reinforcing its plans to launch the first Sundance Online Film Festival.
While leaving no doubt that would deliver on its previously
announced pact to present Sundance’s online effort, the announcement vaguely
addressed the future of However, reached later last night,
CEO, Founder and President Rob Shambro elaborated on the fate of his

Shambro confirmed that laid off employees last Friday, but
indicated that he did not have an accurate count of those let go. “We are
still determining the final staff size,” Shambro indicated, adding that that
answer is “definitely not defined.”

“Our plans are to move forward,” Shambro said late yesterday, “We’re going
to weather out this storm.”

The executive told indieWIRE that will move away from “any
direct interaction with the consumer,” instead focusing on the “syndication
of audio and video databases to high traffic portals and websites.”

Despite the shift, the site was active last night, even
offering links to coverage of breaking news from Washington D.C. as the U.S.
Supreme Court delivered its ruling in the Presidential election case of
Governor George W. Bush v. Vice-President Al Gore.’s statement last night cited “challenging marketplace
conditions and industry uncertainties,” underscoring concerns that are
widespread within the entertainment dotcom space of late. All eyes have been
on a handful of high-profile players for several weeks given numerous rumors
and speculation about the fate of leading entertainment sites.

“Every company,” Shambro said yesterday, “Is facing the same issues.”
Continuing, Shambro added that the next calendar year could be a tough one
for online entertainment sites, “Everybody is trying to ensure their
stability through the next year.” Concluding he offered unsolicited advice
to fellow CEOs, “Don’t be afraid to make changes — cutback your operations
— do not be afraid to respond.” [Eugene Hernandez]

>> IFILM Set to Say, “And the ‘OMA’ Goes To…”

(indieWIRE/ 12.13.00) — Online entertainment took another step away from
film and television and into it’s own domain with the announcement of the
IFILM Online Movie Awards, celebrating excellence in Internet film. The
nominees, chosen by a committee of entertainment and Internet notables, will
be announced at Sundance 2001.

The nominating committee includes writer/director Nora Ephron (“You’ve Got
,” “Sleepless in Seattle“), producer Peter Guber (“Rain Man,” “Batman“), writer/director team Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sanchez (“The Blaire Witch Project“), IFILM CEO Kevin Wendle, director Doug Liman (“Swingers,” “Go“) and representatives of leading online entertainment destinations. Atom Films declined to be on the committee, but it’s a sure bet many of their films will be nominated.

Five nominees will be selected for each of 18 categories ranging from the
traditional “Best Picture” to soon-to-be-favorite category — “Sickest
Film.” Awards will also be given for Best Actor (live action), Best Actress
(live action), Best Director (live action and animation), Best Story, Best
Web Series, Best Animation, Best Character (animation), Best Satire, Best
Documentary Film, Best Experimental Film, Best Film Under Three Minutes,
Best Celebrity Film, Sexiest Film, Best Student Film and Best International
Film. A five-person team will select the recipient of the Grand Jury Prize
for Best Picture and the Internet Film Pioneer Award.

All films will be available for viewing on IFILM. The programming team is
headed by Jon Fitzgerald (Slamdance co-founder) and Jesse Jacobs (Yahoo! Internet Life Film Festival co-founder). Winners will be chosen by consumers
through online voting and announced on March 20, 2001 at an awards ceremony
in Los Angeles. The festivities have not been picked up for broadcast…yet.
[Maud Kersnowski]

>>Eveo Offering 2,500 Shorts for Syndication

(indieWIRE/ 12.13.00) — Film site Eveo ( is offering their
library of 2,500 shorts for commercial syndication. Although the risks
associated with becoming an entertainment destination steadily mounted in the
last year, content became an increasingly desirable commodity. The site that
premiered with the slogan “Everyone’s a director” is now catering to business and trading on the expertise and professionalism of their community of 1,500 filmmakers worldwide.

While Eveo is somewhat unique, in that they offer technology solutions along
with their films, they’re not the first to plant a flag on this turf.
AtomFilms offers a large library and Honkworm has consistently made money licensing original content, like “FishBar,” to destination sites. But with
the major brands positioning themselves for the predicted onset of broadband, the value and need for video libraries are increasing. “There’s a strong demand for short films for the upcoming broadband sites,” commented Eveo CEO Olivier Zitoun.

Eveo syndicates films in rotating groups of 10 to 100 giving the buyer
constantly changing video content. The Eveo Video Platform offers turnkey
technology that allows buyers to either plug the entire film package into
their site or have the films sent to them on demand via streaming video.

Filmmakers receive the better end of a 55-45 fee split. Eveo continues to
search for new films culling through 200 submissions a month. The company
opens up additional opportunities for filmmakers through EveoPros. They
produce short films for a wide range of business clients. Projects vary from
music videos to corporate industrials. “It’s a way for filmmakers to make
money on a work-for-hire or contract basis,” Zitoun explains.

Clients include, and iSyndicate. Like Atom Films, Eveo licenses films to airlines (KLM and Qantas). They are also in negotiations with a cable network. [Maud Kersnowski]

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