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  • Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014

Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Morgan Spurlock, his production company Warrior Poets, Virgil Films, and Richard Abramowitz’s independent distribution company Abramorama have partnered to acquire and release distinctive fiction and documentary features theatrically and on cable VOD.  The films will be distributed under the banner “Morgan Spurlock Presents,” beginning with the highly anticipated documentaries A Brony Tale and the award-winning Two: The Story of Roman & Nyro. A Brony Tale will first premiere at The Tribeca Film Festival this April.

The partners’ aim is to discover and release quality narrative fiction and documentary films with targeted audiences that might otherwise be overlooked. The films will be released in 20 to 30 theatrical markets just prior to being available on cable VOD through agreements with various VOD partners. More

  • Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014
In this Dec. 7, 2004 file photo, Colombia's writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez, right, speaks with fans at the inauguration of the 26th Havana Film Festival in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Jose Goitia, File)

Cuba is dedicating this year's Havana Film Festival to the late Nobel Prize-winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

Garcia Marquez was a longtime friend of former leader Fidel Castro and also a major backer of Cuba's marquee international cinema bash.

Festival official Ivan Giroud says Garcia Marquez's widow and children had been told of the decision to honor the Colombian writer affectionately known as "Gabo."

Cuban state news agency Prensa Latina reported the announcement Tuesday.

Garcia Marquez died last week in Mexico City.

Havana's film festival takes place each December.

  • Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014

AT&T and an investment firm run by former News Corp. executive Peter Chernin have formed an online video venture that could rival Netflix and Hulu.

AT&T Inc. and Chernin Group said Tuesday that they have committed more than $500 million in funding toward the venture. They are not saying how much each company is investing.

The move comes amid rapid growth in online video services. AT&T, a telecoms giant, already offers TV content through its U-Verse service, which competes with more traditional cable TV providers. With online video, though, it could attract customers of Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and other services — including people who've stopped paying for traditional broadcast, cable or satellite TV.

The companies said the venture will invest in advertising and subscription-based video-on-demand services, as well as online streaming.

AT&T rival Verizon Communications Inc. More

  • Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014
Nigel Rahimpour

Marketing communications agency Lowe Campbell Ewald has brought Paul Taylor and Nigel Rahimpour aboard as group directors to lead strategic planning efforts on two key accounts.

Taylor will lead the brand planning team for the agency’s USAA account out of the San Antonio office. He will report directly to Kevin Wertz, managing director of Lowe Campbell Ewald’s San Antonio office.

Rahimpour will be based out of New York where he will lead brand planning for the agency’s Milk Processor Education Program account. Rahimpour will report directly to Sal Taibi, president of Lowe Campbell Ewald’s New York office.

Taylor has more than 15 years experience across marketing departments, brand consultancies and advertising and media agencies. He has uncovered consumer insights and developed strategies for iconic brands across categories from financial services to alcohol to cosmetics. Taylor was a strategy More

  • Monday, Apr. 21, 2014

The owner of cable networks Discovery Channel, TLC and Animal Planet said Monday that it has agreed to sell information website HowStuffWorks to Blucora Inc. for $45 million.

That's far less than the $250 million Discovery Communications Inc. paid for it in 2007.

HowStuffWorks publishes articles and videos that explain everything from how chocolate eggs are made to whether carrots are good for your eyesight.

Discovery will continue to have access to HowStuffWorks videos after the deal closes and partner with Blucora to provide advertising services for the site.

Blucora, based in Bellevue, Wash., owns search business InfoSpace.

The deal is expected to close in the second quarter.

Shares of Silver Spring, Md.-based Discovery slipped 39 cents to $77.44 in afternoon trading. Blucora shares rose 25 cents to $19.44.

  • Monday, Apr. 21, 2014
This Jan. 21, 2014 file photo shows American film producer and director Joss Whedon at the screening of "Much Ado About Nothing" in Paris. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere, File)

Joss Whedon is releasing a film he wrote as a $5 digital download, bypassing the normal channels of independent film distribution.

In a video announcement Sunday following the premiere of the supernatural romance "In Your Eyes" at the Tribeca Film Festival, Whedon says the film will immediately be released online via Vimeo On Demand and InYourEyesMovie.com.

The film stars Zoe Kazan and Michael Stahl-David. Whedon penned and produced it.

The release will be the second film release for Whedon's "micro studio" Bellwether Productions, following last year's adaptation of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing."

Whedon has experimented previously with digital releases. His 2008 miniseries "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" was among the first high-profile Web series.

Whedon currently is working on the "Avengers" sequel "Age of Ultron," to be released next year.

  • Sunday, Apr. 20, 2014
In this Sunday, April 13, 2014 file photo, Lana Del Rey performs at the 2014 Coachella Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, file)
INDIO, Calif. (AP) -- 

When it first started in 1999, Coachella was a couple of stages and a dance tent. Tickets were $65. A few dusty stands sold hot dogs and Cokes. It was the end of grunge and the start of a new millennium, and it was all about the music. All for one weekend.

Now, tickets start at $375. Gourmet menus and VIP packages abound. And dozens of companies have hopped on the Coachella bandwagon, turning the music festival — now two back-to-back weekends — into a marketing hotspot. Adidas, Details magazine, Harper's Bazaar and Lacoste are just some of the brands that host offsite festival events for stylish celebrity guests.

Rolling Stone executive editor Nathan Brackett said the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival has become a destination for fans and brands because organizers consistently deliver compelling lineups of diverse and unconventional musical acts. A reunited OutKast headlines this year's More

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