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Gazeta Wyborcza and Piano To Commence Subscription Video on Demand Service

New distribution channel for independent films as Poland’s most popular newspaper agrees to showcase hard-to-find documentaries, animated and other feature-length movies

Warsaw, April 9, 2013 - Beginning Friday April 12th, Piano will expand its Polish subscription package to include video content. Independnet films will be streamed on Wyborcza.pl initially as an online “Festiwal Filmów.” The online film festival will feature animated films, documentary movies, biopics and other features unavailable online or only with advertising. The Festiwal Filmów kicks off with the online world premier of “The Lost Town of Świteź,” from director Kamil Polak. Every Friday another film will be added to the Festiwal Filmów Webpage and be available to all active Piano subscribers as part of their weekly, monthly or annual subscription. 

“We found that independent filmmakers did not have a reliable way to monetize their films online,” said Piano’s country manager Peter Richards. “Usually these kinds of films have limited distribution and are not available to the average viewer because they are screened at film festivals or they have limited screenings in cinemas. Now though, Piano subscribers will be able to enjoy independent Polish films from the comfort of their own homes. Adding video content to our existing news and music content enriches our subscription package.” 

The Online Film Festival, sponsored by Gazeta Wyborcza will add a new film every Friday and be available to those with a Piano subscription. Gazeta Wyborcza decided to begin streaming independent films within Piano after noting the success of streaming independent Slovak films as part of Piano’s Slovak portfolio, on the website of the weekly magazine, .
týždeň. “We continue to expand our range of online content,” said Michał Gwiazdowski, Digital Content Publisher at Gazeta Wyborcza. “I'm glad that apart from Gazeta Wyborcza, we can now offer under the same subscription, movies that are artistically ambitious and socially important.”

The first film to be available online beginning April 12th is the animated film “The Lost Town of Świteź,” based on the 19th-century epic poem by Poland’s greatest writer, Adam Mickiewicz, about a ghostly town deluged after a bloody massacre in medieval times, which now lies at the bottom of a remote lake. Kamil Polak, the director said “when I accidentally read the ballad „Świteź” describing the last day of existence of a medieval town, I felt I wanted to share it with everybody and so, a romantic text, written almost 200 years ago, became the main inspiration to make the film.”

New users who choose to view “Festiwal Filmów” will also gain access to all other content included in the Piano package, currently comprised of 44 websites. Existing Piano subscribers will have access to “Festiwal Filmów” films for free as part of a standard subscription. A weekly subscription to the Piano package costs 9.90 PLN while a cinema ticket for an independent film averages 24 PLN. The new service is expected to benefit filmmakers, publishers and Piano Media as subscription revenue is shared among the three parties. 

Film Festival Homepage - http://wyborcza.pl/festiwalfilmu/0,0.html

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About The Lost Town of Świteź
“The Lost Town Świteź” was created in an original combination of 3D animation and classic animation painted with oil paints. Specially-commissioned large-scale paintings were composited into a multiple-plane 3D computer generated (CG) environment using state-of-the-art digital animation and compositing techniques. This unique artistic way creates a quality in itself and an extraordinary means of expression, which is crucial in animation, where strength of content and visual form merge into a striking and meaningful fusion. Two distinct styles of paintings were used: 19th-century Slavonic paintings (such as the work of Józef Chełmoński and Aleksander Gierymski), which give the illusion of perspective and use a realistic palette, combined with the much more stylized, brightly-colored and iconic 2D paintings of the Middle Ages.

The movie has been screened at film festivals worldwide and has garnered 18 accolades from film festival juries including Best Animation from the NYC Shorts Film Festival, Best Debut from the Annency Film Festival in France and Best Short Film from the Las Palmas Film Festival in Spain. 

More information about the film: http://www.switez.com/index.html
Read a reviewhttp://www.filmweb.pl/film/Świteź-2010-255462


About Director Kamil Polak
Kamil Polak’s love of story-telling brought him to film-making, and in animation he has found the opportunity to combine his classical training in drawing and painting with his love of music and rhythm, and to bring these together in one dramatic narrative. He studied directing at the world-renowned Łódź Film School. His film “Birth of a Nation” is one of the all-time great films made at the school and has been widely sold to international television. He developed “The Lost Town Świteź” during his graduation year. Polak was the Visual Effects Supervisor on “Peter & the Wolf”, a  £2.5 million stop-frame animation for Channel 4 and for the big screen accompanied by live orchestra.

Watch an interview with Kamil Polak: http://youtube.com/watch?v=mQiZMwsBSrQ

About Composer Irina Bogdanovich
Composer Irina Bogdanovich is a striking new talent from Russia. She graduated with honors from the Choral Conducting Department at Moscow University and then from the Piano Department at the University of Yekaterinburg. As a student she twice won the 1st Prize at the Russian National Student Piano Competition. Currently she is the Conductor and Artistic Director of the Warsaw University Choir, that won 3rd Prize in the International Choral Music Festival in Randers. Under her stewardship the Choir has developed a very high profile. At the 6th ERA New Horizons IFF in 2006, Irina conducted a 60-piece orchestra and 80-person choir to accompany Sergei Prokofiev’s “Alexander Nevsky” at an open-air concert performed to an audience of 12,000 in Wrocław.

About Piano Media
Piano Media is a Slovak-based company that provides media with online content monetization know-how and online subscription-based content payment systems for their websites. Piano enables media to monetize web content without fear of losing ad revenue or audience share. Piano was founded by Tomáš Bella, the former editor-in-chief of Slovakia’s biggest news portal, along with a number of online publishing and advertising professionals.

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