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Blockbuster Takes On Project Greenlight Sponsorship

9 Dec, 2002 By: Hive News

Blockbuster Inc. has joined LivePlanet and Miramax Films and Television as the “presenting sponsor" of Project Greenlight.

"We are grateful that Blockbuster is helping to keep the independent spirit alive in American movies," said Ben Affleck, executive producer of Project Greenlight and co-founder of LivePlanet. "With their support Project Greenlight will continue to realize the dreams of new filmmakers."

During its inaugural year, Project Greenlight conducted an online screenwriting competition, produced and released a Miramax feature film based on the winning script. The Emmy-nominated TV series that chronicled the trials and tribulations of a first-time director/screenwriter making his first feature film debuted on HBO.

"Blockbuster shares Miramax's and LivePlanet's love and appreciation of film and the filmmaking process, making them an ideal complement to 'Project Greenlight,'" said Harvey Weinstein, Miramax co-Chairman and "Project Greenlight" executive producer. "We conceived 'Project Greenlight' to find and showcase the filmmakers of tomorrow. What better partner in building that showcase than Blockbuster, the largest showcase of movies there is?"

This year, Project Greenlight is again running an Internet-based contest, but this time will choose winners in two categories, combining an amateur writer and an amateur director to make the movie. The pair will be awarded a budget of at least $1 million to make their movie and Miramax again guarantees its theatrical release.

The process, from script selection through the film's release, will be documented in a 13-episode television series to air on HBO next summer. Dan Cutforth and Jane Lipsitz, principals of production company Magical Elves, have been tapped as showrunners for the television series and will serve as executive producers.

"Blockbuster is thrilled to be the presenting aponsor of Project Greenlight because it truly is a logical extension of our brand," said Curt Andrews, SVP and chief of marketing for Blockbuster. "We plan to leverage this relationship and create innovative marketing campaigns that tie back to our in-store business."

Project Greenlight is one of the world's largest amateur filmmaking competitions and this year received more than 7,200 writing and directing submissions via its Web site (projectgreenlight.com ) for consideration in the competition. Submissions are reviewed by the Project Greenlight contestants and community through a peer review process. More than 62,000 reviews were submitted and used to help narrow down the field to the top 250 screenwriting and 250 directing finalists.

Over the next two months, the winning writer-director team will be selected through a combination of additional peer reviews and consideration by a panel of executives from LivePlanet, Miramax and Blockbuster.

Additionally, Blockbuster hosts an online sweepstakes in support of Project Greenlight through Dec. 28. Consumers will be able to register online at blockbuster.com for the chance to win a weekend trip in January to Park City, Utah, and go to a party where Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Chris Moore will announce the two winners of this year's contest.

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