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EMA Announces Indie Home Entertainment Awards

3 Jun, 2014 By: Chris Tribbey

The Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) has announced the winners of its 2014 Independent Home Entertainment Awards, given out June 3 at the annual Independent Product Market event in Marina del Rey, Calif..

PBS Distribution’s Masterpiece Classic: Mr. Selfridge — Season 1 took home the award for top sellthrough title, while MPI Media Group’s On the Road won best rental title of the year. The Lifeguard from Screen Media was the winner for direct-to-video/limited release title of the year, and PBS Distribution’s The Central Park Five won for best documentary or special interest title.

“Independent studios bring some of the most compelling, innovative, and challenging content to the consumer,” said EMA president and CEO Mark Fisher. “The home entertainment titles we honor today are outstanding entertainment, and we hope that people who have yet to discover them will seek them out.”

The awards are determined by a vote among EMA retail and distributor members, taking into consideration the rental and sellthrough success of the title and the strength of the marketing campaign launched behind it.

EMA also awarded actor Haley Joel Osment with its Independent Career Achievement Award, noting his appearances in independent studio films, major studio releases, stage performances, TV shows, Web series and video games.

“Haley Joel Osment is one of the most versatile actors of his generation and has demonstrated a commitment to independent films through his roles in movies such as Home of the Giants, Misadventures of the Dunderheads, Sassy Pants, and the upcoming The World Made Straight, Sex Ed and Me Him Her.” said EMA president and CEO Mark Fisher. “We are pleased to recognize him for his diverse career choices.”

Osment’s I’ll Follow You Down , starring Gillian Anderson, Rufus Sewell and Victor Garber arrives on disc Aug. 5 from Well Go USA Entertainment.

Osment thanked the crowd at a cocktail party celebrating the honor and said good writing attracted him to properties such as I’ll Follow You Down.

Also at the Market, PBS Distribution co-president Andrea Downing touted PBS Kids properties “focused on curriculum” at a luncheon sponsored by the company, noting the children’s programming prowess of new hires Debbie and Alexandra Ries.

She previewed Ken Burns’ newest documentary, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, airing this fall, which follows the story of Theodore, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

“It’s the first time their stories have been woven into a single narrative,” she said.

She said the success of “Downton Abbey” has allowed the company to invest and expand, increasing distribution beyond PBS-branded shows.

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