At today's opening of the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq:
MSFT) and the Sundance Institute announced that five full-length feature films will
screen digitally at the festival using Microsoft(R) Windows Media(R) 9 Series. For
the third year in a row, Windows Media is supporting the Sundance Film Festival,
and this year the following films will be screened in Windows Media 9 Series: "BAADASSSSS!,"
starring David Alan Grier, Ossie Davis and co-writer/director Mario Van Peebles,
who is starring as his father, co-writer and acclaimed filmmaker Melvin Van Peebles;
"Carandiru" from Academy Award-nominated director Hector Babenco; "Open Water,"
from writer/director Chris Kentis; "Sky Blue," a groundbreaking high-definition,
multilayered animation epic from Moon-saeng Kim and English version from Sunmin
Park; and "Speak," from writer/director Jessica Sharzer, starring Kristen Stewart,
Steve Zahn and Elizabeth Perkins.
In addition, Microsoft today announced the creation of an independent film Web site
on http://www.windowsmedia.com/, dedicated to showcasing indie films and filmmakers.
Windows Media 9 Series provides moviegoers with the high-quality theatrical experience
they are accustomed to, while offering producers and distributors the cost savings
associated with mastering and releasing films digitally.
"Microsoft's Windows Media 9 Series helps deliver extraordinary images and sound
to the cinema screen and enhances the overall film-going experience at the 2004
Sundance Film Festival," said Ian Calderon, director of Digital Initiatives for
the Sundance Institute. "Microsoft's elegant technology has emerged as a creative
and practical tool, and it demonstrates the company's continued commitment to the
independent film community."
"Over the past decade digital production and editing tools have offered independent
filmmakers at the Sundance Film Festival and beyond the flexibility and cost-savings
that have allowed them to achieve what was formerly unavailable," said Dave Fester,
general manager of the Windows(R) Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "With Windows
Media 9 Series, Microsoft is providing a high-quality digital exhibition format
that provides filmmakers with an entire end-to-end digital process -- from the shooting
of the film through big-screen exhibition -- all without the need for expensive
Using its specialized Cinema System, Digital Cinema Solutions will digitally project
the films in Windows Media 9 Series using HP Workstation xw4100 systems. Windows
Media 9 Series joins traditional 16 mm, 35 mm and HDCAM as a recognized format used
in screening films at the Sundance Film Festival this year.
In conjunction with the screenings at the Sundance Film Festival, Microsoft will
host two technical workshops at the Digital Center on Main Street in Park City.
One workshop will be held in conjunction with Avid Technology Inc. and HP; the second,
presented by Microsoft, will cover digital film solutions ranging from digital filmmaking
and distribution to applications for digital dailies and encoding and projection
for the big screen. Classes with Avid and HP will be held Jan. 17 through Jan. 22
at 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m., 2:15 p.m. and 3:45 p.m., and will feature Avid Xpress(R)
Pro with Avid Mojo(TM), PowerProduction StoryBoard Artist, Panasonic 24p DV cameras
and Windows Media 9 Series, all running on HP Workstation xw4100 systems. Members
of the press are invited to attend a special version of the class Monday, Jan. 19
from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Microsoft's digital film solutions workshop will be held Monday,
Jan. 19 from 12:30-2 p.m. in the Digital Center