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Sundance Institute Chooses Windows Media for 2002 Sundance Online Film Festival

(January 16, 2002)
Microsoft Corp. today announced that the second annual Sundance Online Film Festival ( ) has chosen Microsoft Windows Media Video as the digital media format for entries on its Web site. Twenty-one projects are being presented for the festival, featuring animation, live-action, documentary, interactive, new form and selected shorts from the Shorts program of the 2002 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

"The use of digital media offers a new way for independent filmmakers to tell their stories and find new audiences," said Ian Calderon, director of Digital Initiatives, Sundance Institute. "We are using Windows Media Video to present leading examples of online and digital film creations because it offers a high-quality viewing experience on the Web."

Windows Media Audio and Video provide new flexibility for filmmakers and distributors to deliver a great experience, on screens ranging from that of the smallest wireless device all the way up to digital projection systems in the cinemas of the near future. Independent filmmakers, such as those who screen their work at festivals such as Sundance, can distribute their work more easily, securely and affordably without sacrificing quality and can go straight from digital video to Windows Media with easy-to-use tools.

"Windows Media helps improve both the economics of the film industry as well as the viewing experience," said Dave Fester, general manager of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "With Windows Media, independent filmmakers and distributors can reduce their costs, while viewers get high-quality audio and video -- on screens from big to small."

Microsoft Previews Next-Generation Windows Media Technology, Code-Named "Corona,"

Microsoft and the Sundance Film Festival, in cooperation with Digital Cinema Solutions (DCS), will provide a glimpse of the future of digital media and its impact on independent filmmaking and distribution on Thursday, Jan. 17. Highlighted will be upcoming advances in the next version of the Windows Media Technologies platform, code-named "Corona," that will deliver high-resolution video and the Web's first surround-sound multichannel audio experience. In addition, Windows Media can potentially save filmmakers the tens of thousands of dollars associated with creating expensive 35mm "blow ups" for screenings at film festivals and theaters. A demonstration of this new technology will be given at Sundance on Thursday afternoon, Jan. 17, at 4 p.m. at Harry O's, 417 Main St., Park City. The demonstration will present scenes from an upcoming 35mm feature documentary, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown," as well as footage from Sundance Festival entrant "Teknolust."

The benefits of Windows Media "Corona" for the independent film industry are conveyed by John Schmidt, president of ContentFilm: "Historically, independent feature film distribution has suffered disproportionately to that of major studios due to the high cost and inflexibility of traditional film mastering and release prints," Schmidt said. "We're excited to work with Microsoft to reduce these costs; "Corona" is a very important step in this direction because of the impressive leap in quality of the picture and sound experience."

Windows Media Helps Power 2002 Sundance Film Festival Mobile Digital Media Solution
In addition, Windows Media is helping power an innovative new mobile digital media guide for filmmakers, top executives and VIP members of the entertainment and media industries attending the festival. Together with Flux Networks, Hewlett-Packard Co. and Symbol Technologies Inc., the Sundance Institute is providing an HP Jornada Pocket PC for festival attendees to download and preview video clips from the Sundance Online Film Festival right in the palm of their hand. These Pocket PCs feature a custom digital guide with festival schedules, news and invitations to special events, which can be updated wirelessly at "hot spots" provided by Symbol Technologies located around the festival in Park City.

Windows Media - the Format of Choice for Web-Based Video on Demand

Because Windows Media offers the best-quality video in the smallest file sizes and includes proven built-in optional digital rights management, pioneering online video-on-demand services are choosing Windows Media to help them build businesses distributing content online and help them reach new audiences for filmmakers. Companies such as ALWAYSi/, CinemaNow Inc., Intertainer Inc., Kanakaris Wireless/CinemaPop, SightSound Technologies and have made Windows Media Video their video format of choice for the distribution of the more than 50 million short and feature-length films they have served over the Internet.

About Windows Media

Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers, software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers the industry's only integrated digital rights management solution and the most scalable and reliable streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation and the Windows Media Software Development Kit (SDK) for software developers. Windows Media Player, available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing and now leading media player. More information about Windows Media can be found at

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Related Keywords:filmmaking, streaming media, web video

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