Celebrating its 33rd year, ShowEast is the industry convention where the movies are front and center. The annual confab takes place at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach, October 14–17, in the early weeks of award season, making it a prime showcase for some of the year’s most anticipated films.
At press time, ShowEast announced four movie screenings: Fox and Walt Disney Studios’ race car competition drama Ford v Ferrari, starring Matt Damon and Christian Bale; Fox Searchlight’s World War II satire Jojo Rabbit, directed by Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok); Lionsgate’s comedic murder mystery Knives Out, starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, Don Johnson, LaKeith Stanfield, and Ana de Armas; and Neon’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize–winning prison drama Clemency, starring Alfre Woodard. In addition, Paramount Pictures and Warner Bros. will be unveiling “surprise” movies.
The show will also offer two sessions of Coming Attractions, with distributors large and small providing sneak peeks at their upcoming product. The first follows the keynote address on Monday afternoon by Cineplex president/CEO and NATO chairman Ellis Jacob, with presentations by Sony Pictures Releasing, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures, Neon, STX Entertainment, Fathom Events, 101 Studios, and Trafalgar Releasing. Part two happens on Tuesday morning, with previews from Focus Features, Lionsgate, United Artists Releasing, Universal Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, and Aviron Pictures.
This year, ShowEast places a special focus on women in cinema, as The Coca-Cola Company presents the first annual ShowEast Empowerment Award to Elizabeth Frank, executive VP, worldwide programming, and chief content officer at AMC Theatres. “The motion picture industry continues to thrive because executives like Elizabeth Frank have empowered others and approached the marketplace inclusively,” said Andrew Sunshine, president of Film Expo Group, which manages ShowEast. “With help from our friends at Coca-Cola, ShowEast has created the Empowerment Award to recognize industry champions of inclusion and diversity.” Frank will be part of a women’s leadership panel on Wednesday morning, October 16, joined by Pat Gonzalez of Paramount Pictures, Darryl Schaffer of Screenvision, Anne Fitzgerald of Cineplex, Megan Colligan of Imax Corp., and Loren Nielsen of Xperi/DTS.
Now that overseas grosses are such a huge part of any movie’s success story, the opening-day international program has become an essential part of the ShowEast schedule. Phil Clapp, CEO of the U.K. Cinema Association, will deliver the Monday morning keynote address analyzing the global cinema business, followed by distribution and marketing presentations from Paramount Pictures International, Sony Pictures Releasing International, and Warner Bros. Pictures International.
The International Awards Luncheon this year honors Cinemark’s Alfredo Pourailly, Warner Bros. Pictures International’s Monique Esclavissat, United International Pictures’ Michael Murphy, and Disney’s Avengers: Endgame with Comscore’s Latin American Box Office Achievement Award.
Then, a trio of business sessions commences at 4 p.m. Monday. Laura Houlgatte, CEO of the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), leads a discussion on the progress made by the Global Cinema Federation since this new alliance of the world’s leading cinema operators was formed in summer 2017. Panelists include Eduardo Acuna of Cinépolis, Valmir Fernandes of Cinemark International, and Jackie Brenneman of NATO.
Boxoffice Pro’s own Daniel Loria then moderates a panel on digital ticketing and engaging audiences online, featuring Mark Malinowski of National Amusements, Valerie Shortall of Cinemark, Melissa Hller of Fandango, Max Lynn of Atom Tickets, and Steve Ochs of NCM. The final session, moderated by Cinionic CEO Wim Buyens, will seek to “demystify high frame rate and laser.” Panelists will include GDC Technology chairman and CEO Man-Nang Chong, Domien De Witte of Cinionic, and Brian Claypool of Christie Digital Systems.
Other ShowEast highlights include the opening-night Exhibitor Relations soiree, a chance for distributors to network with exhibitors; the annual Hall of Fame induction ceremony saluting veteran executives; and the two-day trade show, Expo 2019.
The show culminates with the closing-night awards ceremony. This year’s honorees, profiled on the following pages, are Mark Walukevich, Bill LeClair, and Duncan Short of National Amusements, Scott Forman of Warner Bros. Pictures, Joe Masher of Bow Tie Cinemas, David Linde of Participant Media, and Michael Rosenberg of Promotion in Motion, winner of the first NAC ShowEast Legacy Award.