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New Line Lords Over DVD Awards

31 Aug, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold

New Line Home Entertainment was the big winner in the eighth annual DVD Awards last night, scoring eight victories — six of them for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King — in the annual contest for DVD achievements.

Return of the King tied with Warner Home Video's “The Ultimate Matrix Collection” for best of show and best blockbuster theatrical, and also won four other awards: authoring design, video presentation, audio presentation and a “viewers' choice” consumer vote on the Web site Grab.com.

“Clearly, the judges felt Return of the King takes the DVD experience to a whole new level,” said awards executive producer Bruce Apar. “One judge noted that ‘no other DVD comes close; Hollywood is no longer in the business of making movies, but is now in the business of making DVDs.”

Noted director William Friedkin was honored with a lifetime achievement award. Walking past a Blu-ray Disc display, he said, ‘This is clearly better than celluloid.”

The eighth annual DVD Awards drew more than 220 entries in 31 categories. The awards were hosted by Leonard Maltin of “Entertainment Tonight” fame and presented by the International Recording Media Association (IRMA) and CMP Entertainment Media.

“The Ultimate Matrix Collection” also won a third award, best multidisc collection.

Other multiple winners include the “enhanced edition” of the Super Size Me documentary, from Hart Sharp Video, which picked up top awards in the documentary and authoring design categories; Warner Home Video's Gone With the Wind four-disc extravaganza, which won best restoration and another Grab.com consumer vote; Geneon Entertainment's “Appleseed” anime DVD, which scored top honors in the independent theatrical and independent menu design fields; 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment's The Simpsons — The Complete Fifth Season, which won for best menu design and the third and final Grab.com consumer vote; and Enliven Entertainment's Stray Cats: Rumble in Brixton music video, which won in the music performance and independent audio presentation categories.

For the first time, the DVD Awards included categories for best DualDisc (won by AIX Records' The Carl Verheyen Band) and best UMD (won by Buena Vista Home Entertainment's National Treasure.

Other winners included Fox's I Robot and Buena Vista Home Entertainment's The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou, which tied for best major theatrical new release; BVHE's Aladdin and Fox's The Star Wars Trilogy, tied for best major theatrical catalog release; Lions Gate Home Entertainment's Open Water, which tied with Appleseed for best independent theatrical; Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's Seinfeld Seasons 1 & 2, best TV DVD entertainment title; Thames Down's The Book of Cool, best TV DVD special interest; BVHE's Tarzan II, best direct-to-disc entertainment; and BVHE's The Tiger Woods Collection, best direct-to-disc special interest title.

Film preservationist David Shepard received the second annual Leonard Maltin Award, and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment was honored with a Technology Pioneer Award for its contributions to the development and introduction of the Universal Media Disc (UMD).

The DVD Awards are part of the Entertainment Media Expo, held in Los Angeles.

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