By Sandra Kraisirideja
James Cameron and George Lucas will be part of a panel discussion at CinemaCon titled, “Frankly Speaking: The Digital World of Filmmaking Today, Tomorrow and Beyond.” Former studio chairman of The Walt Disney Company, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and CEO of Ilumination Entertainment, Chris Meledandri, round out the panel.
Cameron is also scheduled to give a solo presentation titled “James Cameron Talks Frame Rates: A Demonstration and Exclusive Look at the Future of Digital Cinema.”
If these topics sound awfully dry for an event with “Con” in its title that’s because CinemaCon is really an industry event and not for the general public, unlike Comic-Con and WonderCon.
CinemaCon, formerly ShoWest, is an annual event put on by the National Association of Theater Owners whereby theater owners are showered with praise and loads of incredibly cool swag from Hollywood studios hoping to build interest in their upcoming features.
At CinemaCon the theater owners are the stars and Hollywood’s A-List gladly flies out to Las Vegas—where the event is held annually—to make sure the theater owners feel appreciated. Over 6,000 industry professionals are expected to attend the event this year.
There are special advance screenings, lavish parties and an endless supply of popcorn and candy. Paramount Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, Marvel Studios, The Walt Disney Studios, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate and Warner Bros. are all scheduled to unveil advance footage from their 2011 lineup. Often times these presentations are highlighted by surprise appearances by the stars and filmmakers associated with the pictures.
Cinema-Con concludes with the Big Screen Achievement Awards hosted by Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood.” The awards tend to highlight and honor those who will most likely be making a huge splash in the coming year, thus helping theater owners sell more tickets.
This year’s award winners include:
CinemaCon Visionary Award: Tyler Perry
Male Star of the Year: Ryan Reynolds
Female Star of the Year: Cameron Diaz
Career Achievement Award: Helen Mirren
Comedy Star of the Year: Russell Brand
CinemaCon Hall of Fame Award: “The Harry Potter Franchise” to be accepted by producer David Heyman
Male Star of Tomorrow: Chris Hemsworth
Female Star of Tomorrow: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley
Breakthrough Performer of the Year: Blake Lively
Male Rising Star of 2011: Jason Momoa
Female Rising Star of 2011: Julianne Hough