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Monday, April 23, 2018

CinemaCon 2018, Day 1: International Day Awards Lunch

Film Flam Flummox


(photo by Michael Dequina)

Per tradition dating back to the ShoWest days, the majority of the CinemaCon Monday is devoted to the international cinema exhibition, with the daylight hours filled with seminars and other programming centered on the issues and challenges unique to overseas markets. The centerpiece of this segment of the festivities is always the self-explanatory International Day Awards Lunch. This first and foremost being a conference for the exhibition industry, the first awards handed out were on the industry side, with the day's global-tilting theme. This year's Career Achievement in Exhibition Award was given to Robert Carraday, the president of Caribbean Cinemas. The CinemaCon Passepartout Award, which honors an industry executive who demonstrates dedication and commitment to the international marketplace, was given to Kurt Rieder, Executive Vice President of Theatrical of 20th Century Fox International--and this quite possibly being the venerable studio's CinemaCon swan song with a likely Disney merger looming, this award had particularly added weight this year.

(photo by Michael Dequina)

The big draw of the lunch is always the first talent award given out during the week, the International Filmmaker of the Year. This year's honoree was J.A. Bayona, director of films such as The Orphanage in his native Spain and the acclaimed The Impossible and A Monster Calls in the States. His next film is Universal's preordained summer blockbuster sequel Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and the longtime producer of that franchise, Frank Marshall, was on hand in person to not only present Bayona with his trophy but also introduce a warm tribute reel featuring words and reminisces by The Impossible's Oscar-nominated Naomi Watts, Jurassic's Chris Pratt, Monster's Sigourney Weaver, and fellow filmmakers Guillermo del Toro and Ron Howard.

Stay tuned here and on my Twitter and Instagram all week for ongoing coverage of all the goings-on at CinemaCon 2018!

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom producer Frank Marshall
(photo by Michael Dequina)

(Very special thanks to Heather Lewandoski, Corey Barger, and the entire team at Rogers & Cowan for all their helpful and generous assistance at the convention, as well as Mitch Neuhauser and the CinemaCon crew)

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