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Top performers honored at British Video Association's annual awards night

If one goes by the British Video Association’s 2011 Awards night extravaganza that saw some 1,000 industry movers and shakers congregate at Old Billingsgate in London last week – hosted by comedy star Simon Evans – packaged media still has some good years ahead.

The BVA Awards “recognises the outstanding creative and commercial achievements of companies whose performances and results throughout 2010 made them shine within the hugely competitive video entertainment market place.”

One winner got our DVD Intelligence team especially pleased. The 'Best British Authored Disc' award was won by The Pavement for its ground-breaking U2-360o at the Rose Bowl. The title, released last year, is one of the most accomplished examples of BD-Live, a feature we have been fighting to see more often on BD titles.

At the first Blu-ray Disc Academy event in Frankfurt last year, organised by DVD Intelligence, Andy Evans, MD of the high-end authoring house, explained the difficult birth of the title as he fought hard to convince the band to do justice to the Blu-ray Disc format with the elaborate use of BD-Live features. The ensuing live demonstration set the bar high.

Indeed, the BVA judges sang U2-360o at the Rose Bowl praises: 
“Great graphics and the BD Live is amazing. This is a true resource for fans. It is great to see at title using BD Live, which was a specific feature of the format. Fans will have the patience to set up the connection to the internet. Obviously, a lot of graphics and content work went into this title. Great navigation – incredible design and high production values plus loads of extras.
World class authoring, graphics, UI logic and usability all contribute to near-perfect marks. Sound and pictures very well encoded and plenty of bonus content, with BD-Live too. Almost the perfect Blu-ray!”

Avatar (Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment) stole the show, scooping up three of the main awards. It was the most popular title of 2010, selling more than 3 million units on Blu-ray and DVD, according to statistics from the Official Charts Company. Consumers voted Avatar as ‘Best Blu-ray Title of the Year’ through the HMV website, beating off stiff competition from Inception (Warner Home Video) and Toy Story 3 (The Walt Disney Company). Avatar also won ‘Rental Title of the Year’, which was named by the public through Kantar’s consumer panel.

Kantar also confirmed that ‘Rental Distributor of the Year’ went to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, whilst Official Charts Company sales volume data confirmed Universal Pictures (UK) Ltd as ‘Retail Distributor of the Year’.

In the retail sections, HMV scooped two awards: ‘Bricks and Mortar Retailer of the Year’ and ‘Blu-ray Retailer of the Year’. ‘Retailer Marketing Initiative of the Year’ went to Sainsbury’s for its Shrek Forever After launch campaign.

Competition for ‘Online Retailer of the Year’ was fierce this year with shortlisted companies covering the entire online spectrum. However, the panel of Managing Directors, Sales Directors, and Marketing Directors from key distributors awarded the prize to – for the second year in a row.

‘Marketing Initiative of the Year’ for film awards was divided into three categories, according to box office revenue. The winners were: Momentum Pictures and their campaign for The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (up to £3 million Box Office category), 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment for The A-Team (£3 to £10 million Box Office category) and Icon Home Entertainment for Paranormal Activity (over £10 million Box Office category).

Further marketing awards were divided according to genre with stiff competition in each category. The ‘Marketing Initiative of the Year’ for television was won by HBO Home Entertainment for The Pacific, whilst Lionsgate Home Entertainment won the specialist category with Keith Lemon’s Fit – sponsored by DVD Intelligence.

The Children’s category was won by The Walt Disney Company for Beauty and the Beast. The award for ‘non-theatrical’ was won by Passchendaele (High Fliers Films), the music award went to Les Misérables in Concert –the 25th Anniversary Edition (Universal Pictures), and for the best catalogue campaign it went to the Love It campaign (Sony Pictures Home Entertainment).

This year the BVA Awards celebrated the constantly expanding ways consumers are enjoying video entertainment by introducing a new award for ‘Online Digital Service of the Year’ which was won by iTunes.

Finally, the BVA award for ‘Industry Initiative of the Year’ went to the ‘Real Deal’ campaign launched and run by the Industry Trust for IP Awareness in partnership with the Alliance Against IP Theft. ‘Creative Initiative of the Year’ went to Icon Home Entertainment for their work on Paranormal Activity and Premier PR fought off the competition to be crowned ‘Supplier/ Agency of the Year’.

Lavinia Carey, Director General of the BVA said: “We were inundated by fantastic nominations for the Awards this year, all of whom deserve to be recognised for their exceptional work and talent in this very tough retail environment. More than ever, the shortlisted campaigns and winners demonstrated the new business opportunities presented by this rapidly evolving sector and how exciting it is to be a part of it. Consumers now have more choice than ever to enjoy video entertainment and all the winners and runners up at the Awards have produced great campaigns and promotions that point viewers to the best content available to suit them however and whenever they wish to watch.”

Story filed 09.05.11

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