Monday, October 29, 2012

New channel offers global, festival favorites

(Published Oct. 28, PDI-Entertainment)
By Oliver M. Pulumbarit

Another new cable channel offers an alternative to those that showcase Hollywood movies. Designed to appeal to Asians, CinemaWorld airs films from around the world, with non-English language movies subtitled to make them accessible to more viewers.

CinemaWorld executive vice president James Marturano elaborated on the frequency of exclusive cable debuts during the launch at the Draft Gastropub in Taguig: “We’ll be premiering 15 to 17 new movies each month. The basic lineup right now is about 70 movies per month. It’s a good mix.”

Co-founder and CEO Suarina Chua added that the channel would feature mostly newer films, primarily because CinemaWorld is an HD channel. Chua clarified: “[In the case of] movies made after 2000, you get them more in HD than in standard definition. We want to give more contemporary [content]. We could bring in movies from the ’90s, for the right reasons—for example, if we’re doing a director’s retrospective.”

Marturano said Asian viewers liked more “current products,” based on observations that he and Chua had made during their lengthy stints as HBO Asia executives. “That’s not to say older movies aren’t good. We try to keep [the selection] current and fresh.”

The channel’s eclectic roster includes well-received movies from Europe, the Middle East, Australia, Canada and Asia. CinemaWorld’s “Saturday Festival Picks” focuses on acclaimed projects exhibited in Toronto, Berlin and Cannes, among other notable festivals.

“We’re kind of purists,” Marturano said. “It is also our aim to make sure that movies are seen the way they were intended to be seen without interruption, without all the other stuff on the screen. We like full credits. We’d like to air uncensored films… we’ll get there someday.” Meanwhile, he promised this much: “A really clean, clear, classy look.”

Chua also described the presence of Philippine films in the lineup as inevitable. “I’ve been asking everyone here (in the country) for help, to recommend some great Filipino movies,” she enthused.

(CinemaWorld is available to Cable Link’s Metro Manila subscribers and will eventually become part of SkyCable’s channel roster.) 

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