In its fifth year of celebrating the movie going experience, CinemaCon 2015, the Official Convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO), the largest and most important gathering for the worldwide motion picture theater industry, took place at Caesars Palace April 20-23. The 4 day event included major studios’ sneak peaks of their upcoming slate of films for 2015 and beyond, and the appearance of a slew of stars and directors that showed up to help promote them. Also featured at CinemaCon this year was the latest in technological advancement to enhance the theater going experience.
In addition to last year’s introduction of “Dolby Atmos” audio, Dolby introduced “Dolby Vision”, which uses high dynamic range to expand the color gamut and contrast ratio from the current range of value of 2000 to one to an impressive million to one. This breakthrough technology of Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision, high dynamic range (HDR) was featured in the special screening of Pixar Animation’s feature film “Inside Out”. The 3D version of these technologies were demonstrated in footage shown from “Tron Legacy” and the upcoming “Tomorrowland”.
Among the highlights of CinemaCon 2015 were:
“The Legend of Cinema Luncheon: A Salute to Clint Eastwood. ” The legendary film icon participated in a one-on-one discussion with moderator Stephen Galloway Executive Features Editor of The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday afternoon, April 22, in which he talked about his filmmaking process and passion for the movie-going experience. Afterwards, Eastwood was also presented with this year’s “Fandango Fan Choice Award, for “American Sniper,” which was chosen by the majority of Fandango voters as their favorite film of 2014.
On Thursday afternoon, April 23, this year’s Vanguard Award recipient, Academy Award winning actress Julianne Moore and director Jay Roach participated in a panel discussion titled “The Independent Game: Based on a True Story” that was moderated by Brent Lang, Senior Film and Media Reporter for Variety. Other panel members were Tom Bernard, Co-Chairman of SONY Classics, Robert Lenihan, President of Programming for AMC Theatres.
On the closing night of CinemaCon, this year’s Big Screen Achievement Awards ceremonies hosted by Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush took place at the Colosseum. The following awards and their recipients were:
Lifetime Achievement Award – Alan Arkin. With a career spanning more than 50 years and over 70 films, the Academy award winning actor will be seen later this year in CBS Films/Lionsgate’s “Love The Coopers”.
Breakthrough Filmmaker of the Year – Elizabeth Banks. A versatile actress, Banks makes her directorial debut in the soon to be released “Pitch Perfect 2” in which she also co-stars.. She can also be seen in the upcoming “Love & Mercy in the starring role, and makes an appearance in “Magic Mike XXL”, “Every Secret Thing”, and reprises her role as Effie Trinket in “The Hunger Games: Mockingly – Part 2”.
Female Star of the Year – Rose Byrne. The talented Australian actress will be starring alongside Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham and Jude Law in the June 5 release of the hilarious comedy “Spy”, directed and produced by the CinemaCon Comedy Director of the Year Paul Feig and which was screened at this years convention.
Comedy Filmmaker of the year – Paul Feig, the director behind such hits as “Bridesmaids” and “The Heat” wrote, directed, and produced the upcoming comedy “Spy”.
Comedy Star of the Year – Kevin Hart. The star of hits such as “The Wedding Ringer” and “Get Hard” will be seen early next year in Universal Pictures “Ride Along 2”.
Director of the Year – Francis Lawrence. Visionary director Francis Lawrence, known for his work in “Constantine”, “I Am Legend”, Water For Elephants” and The Hunger Games franchise films “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, “The Hunger Games: Mockingly – Part 1”, helms the upcoming “The Hunger Games: Mockingly – Part 2”
CinemaCon Ensemble Award – Cast of “Fantastic Four” – Jamie Bell, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Miles Teller. Each with their impressive acting resumes are being honored for their work in 20th Century Fox’s upcoming contemporary re-imagining of Marvel’s “Fantastic Four”.
CinemaCon Vanguard Award – Julianne Moore. With and impressive career in over 60 feature films, Julianne Moore (Oscar winner for her performance in last year’s Still Alice as a woman diagnosed with the early onset of Alzheimers disease). She can be seen in the upcoming releases of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” and Lionsgate’s “Freeheld”.
2015 Star of Tomorrow – Britt Robertson. With an already impressive resume, this young star is being honored for her work in “Delivery Man”, “Cake”, “The First Time”, “Scream 4”, “The Family Tree”, “Dan In Real Life”, and “Mother and Child”. You can see her in 20th Century Fox’s recently released “The Longest Ride” with Scott Eastwood, and later this year in the upcoming release of Disney’s “Tomorrowland”.
Male Star of the Year – Paul Rudd. Rudd can be seen in the recently released “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” and takes the leading role in Marvel Studio’ upcoming release, “Ant-Man” and has finished filming “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving”.
Breakthrough Performer of the Year – Amy Schumer. Known for her raunchy off-color humor, the stand up comedienne turned actress is being recognized for her upcoming breakout role in this summer’s upcoming comedy film, “Trainwreck” produced by Judd Apatow.
Rising Stars of 2015 – Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff. This year’s rising stars each have standout roles and are poised for stardom with their upcoming 20th Century Fox release of “Paper Towns”. Wolff has been seen in “The Fault in Our Stars” and “Palo Alto”. Delevingne made her film debut in “Anna Karenina” opposite Kiera Knightly.
In addition to the Big Screen Achievement Awards, Icelandic fimmaker Baltasar Kormákur was honored with a special “International Filmmaker of the Year” Award during Monday’s International day luncheon. Recognized as Iceland’s most successful director. Kormakur’s latest film, the action packed, “Everest”, inspired by a true story, featuring an all star cast including Josh Brolin, Jake Gylenhaal, Kiera Knightly and Robin Wright will be released in September.
Read more about this year’s CinemaCom go to http://www.theflickchicks.com