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  • Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020
Budweiser's “The Future Official Sponsor” campaign from VaynerMedia
NEW YORK -- 

Clio Sports, the competition honoring creative excellence in sports marketing and advertising on a global scale, has unveiled winners of the coveted Grand, Gold, Silver and Bronze Clio Sports Awards for 2020.

VaynerMedia’s work for Budweiser was the year’s big winner, with a total of three Grand Clio Sports trophies. The agency’s “The Future Official Sponsor” campaign, which aimed to shrink the pay gap between women’s and men’s sports by way of increasing sponsorships for women’s soccer, earned top honors in Integrated Campaign, Partnerships, Social Media and Sponsorships & Collaborations.

“Budweiser’s Future Official campaign is important on so many levels,” said Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia. “It is an incredibly powerful business-to-business campaign that used consumers to drive it and, most importantly, it helped close the National Women’s Soccer League’s sponsorship gap. We’re thrilled to have helped our partners at More

  • Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020
In this July 31, 2014, file photo, visitors walk past a logo of Sony at Sony Building in Tokyo. Profit at Japanese electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. more than doubled in the last quarter on healthy gains in its video game sector, as people stayed home during the pandemic. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko, File)
TOKYO (AP) -- 

Profit at Japanese electronics and entertainment company Sony Corp. more than doubled in the last quarter on healthy gains in its video game sector, as people stayed home during the pandemic, the company said Wednesday.

Tokyo-based Sony reported a 459.6 billion yen ($4.4 billion) profit in July-September, up from 188 billion yen the previous year. Quarterly sales at the maker of the PlayStation game machines, Bravia TVs and Spider-Man movies inched down slightly to 2.1 trillion yen ($20 billion).

Sony raised its forecast for the full fiscal year to 800 billion yen ($7.7 billion) from an earlier 510 billion yen ($4.9 billion). 

Sony anticipates strong performance for its game division, which has the PlayStation 5 set to go on sale soon. But even its current model and its game software are doing well as the coronavirus pandemic has people around the world staying home. Sony sold 1.5 million PlayStation 4 machines in July-September.  More

  • Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020
Director Masaharu Take on the movie set of "Underdog." Take's films have always focused on painful stories about Japan’s "under-class," people who are often overlooked in a nation stereotyped as monolithically well-to-do. “Underdog” opens the Tokyo International Film Festival, which starts Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020. (2020 UNDERDOG FILM PARTNERS via AP)
TOKYO (AP) -- 

Masaharu Take's films have always focused on painful stories about Japan's "under-class," people who are often overlooked in a nation stereotyped as monolithically well-to-do. 

The heroes of his latest work, "Underdog," couldn't be more beaten down, stoically hardworking yet hopelessly under-class: They are boxers. 

"Most of them will lose. Most of them will never become champions," said Take, who is also directing the Netflix hit "The Naked Director." 

"I feel an adoration for those boxers, their strength, the courage that they have, that I don't have, and that's what I've been imagining and thinking about." 

Take, who loved Sylvester Stallone's "Rocky" and was profoundly influenced by "Raging Bull," directed by Martin Scorsese, scored success six years ago with "100 Yen Love," which also had boxing as a motif. It starred a clumsy introverted woman who finds purpose and pride, as well as physical fitness, through boxing.  More

  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020
Jon Stewart presents the Pat Tillman award for service on July 18, 2018, at the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles. Stewart will return to television as host of an Apple TV+ public affairs show, the streaming service said Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. (Photo by Phil McCarten/Invision/AP, File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

Jon Stewart is returning to TV, more than five years after bowing out as host of "The Daily Show" and with a new home at Apple TV+.

Stewart will host an hour-long, current affairs series that will explore topics of national interest as well as his advocacy work, the streaming service said Tuesday. 

He has been a passionate supporter of military veterans and 9/11 first responders, last year pressing Congress to approve legislation to help the latter and their families. He and his wife, Tracey, are animal rights proponents.

The series is expected to debut in 2021 — so if Stewart wants to weigh in on a presidential race, as he relished doing on his long-running Comedy Central show, he'll have to wait until the 2024 contest. 

Each season of the show will have a companion podcast to "continue the discussion," Apple TV+ said. The platform also has a deal with Stewart and his production company that gives it first shot at other More

  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020
This May 29, 2019, file photo, shows the Ottawa headquarters of Canadian e-commerce company Shopify. Shopify said Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, it’s made a deal with TikTok enabling merchants to create “shoppable” video ads that drive customers to online stores. (Justin Tang/The Canadian Press via AP, File)

The popular short-form video app TikTok, still under U.S. government scrutiny for its Chinese ownership, is moving closer to becoming a marketplace for buying stuff.

Canadian e-commerce platform Shopify said Tuesday it's made a deal with TikTok enabling merchants to create "shoppable" video ads that drive customers to online stores.

The partnership was announced Tuesday amid stalled negotiations for Walmart to buy a 7.5% stake in the video app. Walmart's planned investment is part of a government-forced deal that would rescue TikTok from a threatened ban by President Donald Trump and advance Walmart's ambitions for the world of "social commerce."

"If you're watching a TikTok video and somebody's got a piece of apparel or an item on it that you really like, what if you could just quickly purchase that item?" Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told CNBC earlier this month. "That's what we're seeing happen in countries around the world. And it' More

  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020
In this Feb. 14, 2018, file photo, the T-Mobile logo ppears on a screen at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York. Yet another service provider is jumping into the TV streaming wars. This time it is T-Mobile, with its TVision service offering live news, entertainment and sports channels and starting at $10 a month.(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Yet another service provider is jumping into the TV streaming wars. This time it's T-Mobile and its TVision service with live news, entertainment and sports channels, starting at $10 a month.

T-Mobile says it's aiming to offer a simpler and and cheaper service for people dissatisfied with cable. But it's entering a crowded field. And most similar streaming services have found it difficult to sustain low prices over time.

TVision will offer three branches of its service. TVision Live will have live news, entertainment and sports channels at three tiers priced at $40, $50 and $60, depending on how many sports channels you want. The $40 option offers around 30 channels including ABC, NBC, Fox, CNN, Fox News, ESPN, and Fox Sports Networks.

Then there's TVision Vibe, which is $10 a month and includes about 30 channels from AMC, Discovery and Viacom — but no sports. And TVision Channels, which lets you sign up for individual channel More

  • Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020
This April 12, 2016 file photo shows the Microsoft logo in Issy-les-Moulineaux, outside Paris, France. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) -- 

Microsoft reported quarterly earnings Tuesday that beat Wall Street expectations, as it continued to weather the coronavirus pandemic amid increased demand for its flagship software and services.

The company reported fiscal first-quarter profit of $13.9 billion, or $1.82 per share, beating Wall Street expectations of $1.54 a share. Microsoft posted revenue of $37.2 billion in the July-September period, up 12% from last year. Analysts had been looking for revenue of $35.8 billion, according to FactSet.

The software giant has benefited from a COVID-19-fueled trend of working and learning from home that boosted demand for its cloud computing services and workplace productivity products, such as email and video conferencing. It's also experienced heightened demand for its Xbox gaming system.

The company's growth was led by its commercial cloud segment, which grew 31% from the previous year to generate $15.2 billion in revenue, said Amy More

  • Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020
In this Sunday, Sept. 11, 1977 file photo, screenwriter William Blinn, left, Ed Asner, center, and David Greene pose with their Emmy statuettes at the annual Primetime Emmy Awards presentation in Los Angeles. William Blinn, a screenwriter for the landmark TV projects “Brian’s Song”, “Roots” and the Prince film “Purple Rain,” has died, Thursday, Oct. 22, 2020. He was 83. (AP Photo/File)
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- 

William Blinn, a screenwriter for the landmark TV projects "Brian's Song" and "Roots" and the Prince film "Purple Rain," has died. He was 83.

Blinn died Thursday of natural cases at an assisting living community in Burbank, California, his daughter, Anneliese Johnson, said Saturday.

He won Emmy and Peabody honors for the 1971 TV movie "Brian's Song," which dramatized the friendship of Chicago Bears players Brian Piccolo and Gayle Sayers. It was a hit when it aired and is a enduring favorite with sports fans and critics.

Last month, Hall of Fame running back Sayers died at age 77.

Blinn's work on "Roots," the blockbuster 1977 miniseries adapted from Alex Haley's book about his African American ancestors in slavery and freedom, won an Emmy and a Humanitas Prize. 

"He was a master of his art and a gentleman of the first order. Rest easy, my friend," actor Jim Beaver ("Deadwood," "Supernatural") posted on Twitter.

More

  • Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020
The ASC Clubhouse
LOS ANGELES -- 

The American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) will celebrate the 35th ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards on April 18, 2021. The annual ceremony will be streamed live from the ASC Clubhouse in Hollywood, with plans for a simultaneous in-person component to be determined at a later date. The last time the ASC held their awards at the historic society headquarters was in February 1987--at the 1st Annual ASC Awards. The winner that year: Jordan Cronenweth, ASC for Peggy Sue Got Married, presented by Gregory Peck.

“The ASC Awards recognize the finest work of the year and its exceptional creators,” noted ASC Awards co-chair Dana Gonzales. “We look forward to celebrating the exceptional visual art of the many talented cinematographers contributing to the stories that are entertaining us through these unprecedented times.”

The organization has also officially opened the call for entries in four television categories:

  • Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020
AFM 2020 Online campus
LOS ANGELES -- 

The American Film Market (AFM®) unveiled its initial speakers, topics, and programming calendar for AFM 2020 Online. Its 70+ sessions will take place over five days, November 9-13, alongside the AFM’s marketplace and screenings at AFM2020.online.   

The AFM’s opening Conference--The Future of Film--will launch with two marquee one-on-one conversations: Mark Gill, president and CEO of Solstice Studios, will take the online stage to discuss his views and predictions of how independent film, the marketplace, and audience consumption will change in the near future.  The morning will continue with a dialogue with Elissa Federoff, president of distribution for NEON, who will share her insights on the future of feature film distribution and exhibition.   

Gill just realized his goal of having the first new film in theaters since the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown with Unhinged, the first film his company also financed. Federoff recently made history More

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