Archive for “January, 2015”

Robert Redford celebrates change and freedom of expression at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival

At the opening press conference of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, founder Robert Redford spoke about the changes he’s seen in the film industry during his career and celebrated the creative advances in the medium of television in recent years.

Photo credit: Marc Hom

Photo credit: Marc Hom

Redford said he has welcomed the way that television and independent filmmaking are developing clear similarities as art forms. “Television is film. The two of them together are blurring and there’s a reason why: mainstream film is shrinking. It’s harder for artists to find their way in the film industry,” he said. “TV and independent film are running neck-and-neck, both in the talent they use and in their freshness and quality.”

Speaking of his long and distinguished career, he sad he was “very fortunate as an actor for hire to be in what was then the mainstream. That’s all there was in the 1960s and 70s – just the mainstream, which meant studio films. But what they did then was they gave you the chance to make smaller films within that construct. And I was allowed to do some of the films that meant a lot to me. So that’s how it started, and all through the 70s I was able to make smaller films like Jeremiah Johnson or The Candidate. I was very happy. And then… you could see it coming. There was cable and video on demand, and they were coming on real fast.”

However, Redford felt that the industry then started to change its focus, concentrating more on major, mainstream movies with less in the way of small, independent filmmaking. “So I felt that Sundance would be sort of a gap-filler,” he said. “If we focused on the independent films, the smaller films that were more diverse, we would keep something alive.”

Redford calls the festival a “safe haven” for directors, a place where they can explore total artistic freedom. “Freedom of expression is in danger in a lot of areas, but, as far as we’re concerned, we’ll do everything within our power to keep it alive here,” he stressed. “We believe in diversity, and freedom of expression is fundamental to us. That’s evidenced in the films – you see a lot of films here that are going to upset other people, but that’s OK. It’s diversity – it’s showing us what there is out there.”

The Sundance Film Festival runs until 1st February, and Sundance Channel internationally is airing films seen at the festival through the duration of the Park City, Utah event.


joiz Global Announces First German Licensing Agreement with Leading Media Company M. Dumont Schauberg

Innovative Community Marketing Solution to Fuel Kö, Germany’s First Interactive Regional TV Network Featuring News, Sport & Lifestyle Programming

joiz Global today announced its first German licensing agreement with Media Group M. DuMont Schauberg, one of the country’s leading media companies. The deal will enable M. DuMont Schauberg to enhance its big data strategy by licensing the joiz Global community marketing solution to fuel Kö, Germany’s first interactive regional TV network featuring news, sport and lifestyle programming.

The joiz platform will enable Kö to build a vibrant and engaged community that allows audiences to interact with shows and presenters like never before. The free-to-air channel Kö features a range of new programming from Cologne, Bonn, Leverkusen and the surrounding area. This includes a daily news show, magazine series and talk show alongside programming devoted to football and hockey. Presenters Anna Steinhagen, Alyosha Hoehn and Philipp Isterewicz also offer a daily round-up series featuring segments from across the whole network.

In addition, the digital platforms of two of M. DuMont Schauberg’s most popular regional newspapers, Express and Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, have been incorporated into this wide-ranging collaboration. Express has one of the most successful regional digital platforms in Germany, and the two sites have over 20 million visits per month. Fully integrated, cross-platform content will be shown first on and alongside before being seen on the TV network, highlighting the importance of digital media to the overall strategy.

Audiences can now create a profile online that enables them to offer opinions, encourage debate and even propose stories. With access to live group and one-to-one chats, audiences can also interact with presenters, share content with others in the community and fully immerse themselves in the Kö experience.

“We’re excited to partner with M. DuMont Schauberg to license the joiz Global platform,” commented Alexander Mazzara, Co-founder and CEO of joiz Group. “Our solution triggers deeper viewer engagement and data collection, which transforms viewers into users, users into consumers and consumers into loyal customers. The joiz technology framework can easily be integrated into existing broadcasting and radio infrastructures making it the ultimate social TV software in the market.”

“Our new partnership with joiz Global will enable us to build an engaged community around our award-winning news, sport and entertainment content,” said Patrick Wölke, Managing Director of DuMont Net. “As Germany’s first interactive regional channel, Kö now offers audiences the ability to initiate discussions and suggest stories across our diverse programming formats. Contributions will also be featured on the digital platforms for Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger and Express, which will help build even larger audiences to support our digital first strategy.”

Kö, which was formerly known as, is seen nationwide in Germany via Telekom Entertain and Internet TV provider Zattoo. It is available on the analog and digital cable networks of Unity Media and NetCologne as well as via free live streaming globally at

About joiz Global

joiz Global delivers innovative community marketing solutions, collecting and converting data into value for enterprises worldwide. The joiz Global platform unites TV, online and mobile to increase and enhance consumer interaction, motivating viewers to become highly engaged users. With cloud-based proprietary technology, the solution transforms audience interactions into behavioural data, creating invaluable advertising and cross-selling opportunities. joiz Global empowers clients to optimize and monetize their audiences, products and services in whole new ways.  Founded in 2010, joiz also operates two interactive youth entertainment channels in Switzerland and Germany. Headquartered in Zürich, further information about the company can be found by visiting

About M. DuMont Schauberg

Media group M. DuMont Schauberg is one of the largest media groups in Germany. It publishes seven newspapers – Berliner Zeitung, Berliner Kurier, Hamburger Morgenpost, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, Express, Kölnische Rundschau and Mitteldeutsche Zeitung. The Company also holds several Radio and TV stations. Further information can be found on

Sundance Film Festival begins tomorrow

The 2015 Sundance Film Festival kicks off tomorrow January in Park City, Utah. Now in its 31st year, the festival has become one of the world’s most renowned showcases for independent American and international cinema. The festival is the centerpiece of the non-profit Sundance Institute’s year-round programme of activities which assists in the development of independent films with a range of events and grants more than $2.5 million to independent artists each year. Continue Reading…