L.A. Screenings Full of Known Surprises.


The yearly pilgrimage to the Mecca of entertainment continues with the 56th annual L.A. Screenings, this year taking place May 14-23. But there will be a lot of changes this time around. Fox Studios is no longer around after being absorbed by Disney. There will be a reduced number of screening days. There will also be fewer studios screening, just three studio parties, but more exhibitors at the unofficial event headquarters, the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City, Los Angeles.

Despite the changing business environment, the event is still expected to attract a record number of participants from all over the world, making it a memorable event, indeed.

In terms of participating distributors reflected by the exhibitors housed in the suites and tables at the InterContinenal (including indies and studios), there will be 82 companies (10 first-time exhibitors)--up from 73 last year. Many of the non-returning exhibitors will still be on hand, with plans to "park" themselves in the lobby of the Intercontinental, trying to snag invites to the event's various parties in order to meet with some of the 2,000 international buyers who are expected to attend.

In addition, there will be at least 10 distribution companies that won't be exhibiting at the Intercontinental, but will be bussing buyers to their local offices. Plus, it is expected that the distributors who'll be "lounging" at the hotel will still be buying the $50 name badges introduced for the first time last year when NATPE teamed up with Isabella Marquez's Events, which has for years purchased a block of rooms at the Intercontinental in order to provide exhibitors with rate discounts and suite numbers in advance.

In terms of recreational activities, there will be seven invitation-only events from the independents (including ones hosted by Viacom, Telefilms, HBO, and Lionsgate), and three from the studios (Sony, MGM, and Paramount).

Missing this year will be the opening and closing parties from Disney and Twentieth Century Fox, Fox's screenings (as it is now part of Disney), and Sony Pictures' screenings (since it will only have a presentation). On the other hand, NATPE, which is again coordinating the indies' portion of the screenings, will host an opening reception on Tuesday, May 14.

Additionally, NATPE's L.A. Screenings Independents showcase will kick off with the "Producers Summit" on Monday, May 13. This program is designed to educate, inform, and provide connectivity for attendees...

To continue reading