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Los Angeles, CA—Oct 19, 2010
Billy Joel's Last Play at Shea to Premiere in 120 Digital Theatres Across the Country on October 21
Nigel Sinclair, CEO and Co-Chairman of Exclusive Media Group ("Exclusive") and Newmarket Films ("Newmarket"), Chris Ball, CEO and President of Wrekin Hill Entertainment ("Wrekin Hill") and Steve Cohen of Maritime Pictures announced today that Newmarket Films, in association with Wrekin Hill and D&E Entertainment (www.DandEentertainment.com), will release the acclaimed Billy Joel documentary feature film THE LAST PLAY AT SHEA on October 21, 2010 as a one-night only engagement at over 120 theaters across the country in suchmajor cities as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Dallas, and Washington, D.C.. In addition, several venues will extend the film for a traditional theatrical run. The film was produced by Exclusive's Spitfire Pictures Label and Billy Joel's Maritime Pictures.
The film will premiere in the following theatres: Arclight Cinemas, AMC Theatres, Rave Motion Pictures, Clearview Cinemas, Alamo Drafthouse, Dipson Theatres, Emagine Entertainment, Harkins Theatres, Krikorian Premiere Theatres, Megaplex Theatres, Studio Movie Grill, Ultrastar Cinemas, Bow Tie Cinemas, Wehrenberg Theatres, The Regent Theatre, The Crest Theatre, Riverview Theatre, The Spectrum 8, Cinema Cafe, Continental Cinema, and the 4-Star Theatre.
The intersecting histories of a landmark stadium, a volatile baseball team, and a music legend are examined in a film that charts the ups and downs of the New York Mets and the life and career of Long Island native Billy Joel. When Joel learned that he would be giving the last musical performance at Shea Stadium, he decided to capture the event on film and then create a unique motion picture that would also tell the story of Shea stadium itself, and its place in the New York and Long Island history. Joel brought on board his long-time collaborator Steve Cohen to produce the film and they turned to Spitfire Pictures as a partner. Directed by Paul Crowder, THE LAST PLAY AT SHEA, weaves interviews with players and performers with exclusive concert footage-featuring guests like Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks, John Mayer and Roger Daltrey, among others. The shows staged on July 16 and July 18, 2008, before a combined 110,000 fans, were the last performances ever to play the historic stadium. After 45 years, two Mets' World Series victories, and a concert that introduced the Beatles to America, the last section of Shea Stadium was torn down and replaced by CitiField. "The Last Play at Shea' was one of the most memorable concerts I have ever performed," said Billy Joel. This uniquely American story is told through the voice of the working class Mets Fan - the incomparable Billy Joel as it takes the viewer on a nostalgic and emotional journey through the history of Queens, NY and the emergence of the suburban middle class, the tale of one Long Islanders' road to superstardom, the historic stadium and the teams and fans that inhabited it, and a seminal moment in Rock and Roll history coming full circle from the day the Beatles christened Shea Stadium as a cultural icon.
THE LAST PLAY AT SHEA premiered earlier this year at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. It was also screened on August 21, 2010 at Citi Field, making it the biggest outdoor movie presentation since 1919. The film is produced by Sinclair of Exclusive/Newmarket and Steve Cohen, who has served as Billy Joel's concert production designer /director for 36 consecutive years and has produced live tours for such acts as Elton John, Justin Timberlake, and The Eagles. Executive producers are Todd Kamelhar, Greg Whiteley, and Glen Zipper.
"So many wonderful ball players and sportsmen, rock stars and entertainers, great storytellers and writers contributed to this film," says Sinclair. "We are thrilled with the chance to share it with a wider audience." Notes Ball: "After the tremendous reception the film received at both the Tribeca Film Festival and to a crowd of over 25,000 people at CitiField, we decided to give theater goers across the country the opportunity to see the film. We are confident that anyone who is a fan of music, sports, or New York history will be drawn to this fascinating documentary."
"At every screening, audiences have responded in a very emotional way," says producer Cohen. "The story melds music, history and the culture of suburbia in a way that is so relatable to people that they emerge from the film beaming. It's a love letter to New York for sure, but more than that it's truly an American Tale. I'm so excited that audiences across the country will have a chance to enjoy the film, and get to spend 90 minutes 'forgetting about life for a while."
ABOUT EXCLUSIVE MEDIA GROUP (“EXCLUSIVE”)
Exclusive Media Group is a vertically integrated independent film studio which was founded by strategic investment group, Cyrte Investments, in May 2008 Exclusive comprises:
1. Three development & production labels –
· Exclusive Films, whose maiden production is Peter Weir’s The Way Back.
· Hammer Films, the iconic brand which already has Let Me In in release, and The
Resident being readied for release.
· Spitfire Pictures, which has become the specialist documentary film production house.
2. US theatrical distributor – Newmarket Films.
3. International Sales & Marketing Operation for in-house and third party product –
Exclusive Films International.
4. Exclusive Films International also monetizes a significant film library of over 550 film
Exclusive is run by Co-Chairmen Nigel Sinclair and Guy East. Sinclair also serves as Group CEO and Chairman of Newmarket, East as Chairman of Exclusive Films International. Simon Oakes serves as Vice-Chairman of the Group Board as well as President and CEO of Hammer. Marc Schipper and Andy Mayson serve on the Executive Board, as COO and Managing Director/CFO respectively, overseeing the operations, finance and strategic development of the worldwide group Exclusive's strategy is to build a vertically integrated global film entertainment group which develops and controls its own intellectual property and exploits it on a cross-media basis in the digitally converged era. Exclusive has an active development slate and produces, finances and markets 3-5 high-quality commercial feature films and documentaries per year under its three production labels Exclusive actively acquires further feature films for international distribution via Exclusive Films International, and for US theatrical distribution via Newmarket Films. The Group also develops and produces projects for television and digital platforms.
Exclusive continues to actively explore strategic expansion through M&A transactions and joint ventures - specific focus is on the acquisition of further high-quality film libraries and local territory distribution.
ABOUT NEWMARKET FILMS ("NEWMARKET")
Founded in 1994 by William Tyrer and Chris Ball, Newmarket grew from a private film finance company to one of the preeminent producers and distributors of independent film in the world.
By 1998, having been involved in the financing of over 75 features such as The Usual Suspects, Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man, and the Wachowski's debut Bound, Tyrer and Ball had built a creative team and expanded into production. Newmarket's first production was Memento, written and directed by Christopher Nolan. This film was followed up with such productions and co-productions as The Mexican, Cruel Intentions, The Skulls, Prom Night and The Prestige.
Newmarket's distribution arm, Newmarket Films, was created to theatrically release Memento in the US in 2000. The company followed up this release with a surprising string of critical and box office successes that sounds like a roll call of great indie cinema: Donnie Darko, Whale Rider, Monster, Downfall and The Passion of the Christ. Through its production and distribution activities, Newmarket built-up a library of well over 250 titles.
In December 2009, Newmarket was acquired by Exclusive Media Group, and Newmarket's US theatrical releasing business was substantially expanded and recapitalized, leading to the acquisitions of Creation, Agora and Sundance favorite Hesher.
ABOUT WREKIN HILL ENTERTAINMENT ("WREKIN HILL")
Chris Ball co-founded Newmarket Films in 1994 and acted as COO of that company until December 2009 when Exclusive Media acquired Newmarket. After Exclusive's acquisition of Newmarket, Ball became Co-Chairman of Exclusive and President of Exclusive Media USA. As Co-founder (with William Tyrer) and COO of Newmarket Films, Ball helped oversee the growth of the company from a private film finance company to one of the preeminent producers and distributors of independent film. During Ball's time at Newmarket he helped build a library that consists of interests in more than 250 titles. Ball has been Executive Producer on more than 20 films including Memento, Cruel Intentions, Donnie Darko and The Prestige.
Rene Cogan was Chief Financial Officer of Newmarket Films for over 13 years until December 2009. She was responsible for all financial aspects of the company including corporate transactions, development, production and distribution of films. After Exclusive's acquisition of Newmarket, Rene became Exclusive Media Group's Chief Financial Officer, US Operations. Before joining Newmarket Films, Rene was employed at KPMG as Senior Manager in the entertainment practice for eight years based in Century City and London.
John Crye was Director of Development and Acquisitions of Newmarket Films until December 2009. Crye was a creative force behind Newmarket Films for over 12 years, making an indelible impression on all aspects of creative affairs, from development and production, to acquisitions and marketing. As Director of Development, Crye shepherded such films as Memento, The Mexican and The Prestige from concept to script. In his role as Director of Acquisitions, Crye acquired such titles as Donnie Darko, Whale Rider and Downfall. After Exclusive's acquisition of Newmarket, John became Exclusive Media Group's Vice President of Acquisitions where he acquired Agora, Creation and Sundance 2009 favorite Hesher.
About D & E Entertainment:
D&E Entertainment is a partnership between entertainment industry executives Doug Kluthe and Evan Saxon. Together they have been involved in the marketing of high profile tours and directing live concerts captured for video and DVD. D&E’s experience and understanding of the entertainment community have enabled them to continually work with key artist managers, record labels, music retailers, movie theatres, advertisers and the film community. For content holders, D&E have the ability to create a marketing campaign that harnesses the power of radio, retail, press, online and our in-theatre partners to enhance the visibility and value of their client’s content.
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