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With the announcement on Wednesday that movie theaters in three Indian states will be closed through the end of March, half of the top 10 markets in the global box office now face at least partial shutdowns of their movie theaters due to the pandemic.

The other countries in the top 10 that are facing various levels of closures are China, Japan, South Korea and Italy. China is the most severely hit, as tens of thousands of theaters nationwide have been closed since the start of the Lunar New Year holiday period in late January. That has erased a critical profit period for the Chinese box office that contributed $835 million to the country’s $9.3 billion total in 2019.

Last week, financial analysts told TheWrap the coronavirus would cost the box office at least $5 billion in global revenue and possibly more if the pandemic persists well into the summer.

Combined, the five top markets facing closures contributed approximately $16.5 billion to the global box office in 2019, according to the Motion Picture Association’s annual THEME report released on Wednesday. That’s 39% of the $42.2 billion grossed globally last year — though it’s worth noting that theater closures have not spread nationwide in all five countries (at least not yet).

The viral outbreak has already prompted studios to push back major global releases like the James Bond thriller “No Time to Die” and “Peter Rabbit 2,” which had previously been scheduled to open in April.

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Pinarayi Vijayan, the chief minister of the Indian state of Kerala, on Tuesday ordered the closure of all schools, universities and cinemas until at least March 31 in the region on the country’s southwest coast. Movie shoots in the region are also being shutdown, and on Wednesday, the states of Jammu and Kashmir also announced that movie theaters will be closed there until the end of March.

Several movie theater chains in Japan and South Korea have announced partial closures in regions where the coronavirus has been most widespread. Some companies, like 109 Theaters in Japan, are reducing the number of seats sold for each auditorium, keeping every other seat empty to allow space between moviegoers. Shares for Toho, a cinema chain and film studio that owns the Godzilla franchise, are down 24% from the start of the year.

Partial closures and reduced capacity has also spread to France, particularly in northern regions. The country’s National Centre for Cinema (CNC) announced on Wednesday that movie theaters, production companies and distributors will be able to have their applications for state subsidies fast-tracked as part of an effort by President Emmanuel Macron to support businesses hurt by coronavirus shutdowns. Many movie theaters in northern France that haven’t closed are keeping every other row of seats empty, and the rest of the film industry has been hit with film shoot cancellations and the possible cancellation of the Cannes Film Festival, though the festival’s director says he’s “reasonably optimistic” that the event will still go on.

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Outside of the global top 10, other countries like Poland, Kuwait, and Lebanon have also announced movie theater closures with more Middle Eastern nations expected to do the same. Aside from China, the hardest hit country has been Italy, which has also had all theaters closed as part of a nationwide lockdown announced Tuesday by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

One major market that hasn’t closed theaters or reduced capacity yet is the United States. On Tuesday, the California/Nevada division of the National Association of Theater Owners announced that movie theaters in Santa Clara County, one of the areas hardest hit by the virus so far in the U.S., will remain open this weekend. County health officials announced a ban on “mass gatherings” that draw over 1,000 people into a single space, but this does not apply to cinemas as modern movie auditoriums hold a maximum capacity of 180-220 people.

Pacific Northwest Theater Owners, the NATO regional office for Washington State, told TheWrap that theaters will also remain open there this weekend. Over 700 cases of coronavirus have been reported so far in the U.S.

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Filmmaker Julie Dash and TheWrap CEO and founder Sharon Waxman are among the recipients of the 6th Annual Horizon Awards presented at the WME Lounge during the Sundance Film Festival, it was announced on Sunday.

The Horizon Awards are presented by co-founders Cassian Elwes, Lynette Howell Taylor and Christine Vachon. They provide grants and mentorship to two emerging female filmmakers and also recognize other industry figures who have championed women in entertainment.

Waxman is one of the winners of the Horizon Champion Award, which was also presented to MACRO, the Sundance Institute and Women in Film Los Angeles. Dash won the Pioneer Award.

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“Black Bear” star Aubrey Plaza, “Wander Darkly” co-stars Diego Luna, Sienna Miller and Franklin Leonard presented the Horizon Award to Viviane Charlestin and Zawan Mahmoud, with Eaza Shukla receiving the Animation Award. Both Charlestin and Mahmoud submitted their self-directed short films of two minutes or less through the Horizon Award’s website and were honored at the event on Sunday.

“This year, we continue to lift up underrepresented women, both in front of and behind the camera,” Howell Taylor said in a statement. “We are eternally grateful for all the companies and individuals who support the Horizon Award for all that it stands for. It is an honor to be a part of this for the past six years, and I am humbled and inspired by everyone who generously gives their time and money towards this endeavor.”

“I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished with the Horizon Award. Each year it goes from strength to strength both in the quality and quantity of the submissions. One day there will equality for female directors in our business. Until then we will keep trying to make a difference,” Elwes said in a statement.

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This year’s judges included leading industry executives, actors and directors Dee Rees, Ekwa Msangi, Justine Bateman, Lina Roessler, Sarah Broom, Alison Emilio, Ane Crabtree, Arianna Bocco, Cathy Schulman, Claudine Sauvé, Emma Fleischer, Helen Estabrook, Helen Lee Kim, Huriyyah Muhammad, Kirsten Schaffer, Laura Lewis, Laura Rister, Pam Dixon, Pam Williams, Poppy Hanks, Rosson Crow, Susan Carter Hall, and Tova Laiter.

Working from this list, the final two filmmakers were decided by the Horizon Award co-founders Cassian Elwes, Lynette Howell Taylor, Christine Vachon and Sundance feature film director Michelle Satter.

Charlestin is a first-generation Haitian-American director, writer, producer, and actor originally from Florida. For undergrad she attended the University of Florida where there was no real program for film, therefore she constructed her own degree and earned a B.A. in English with a concentration in Film and also graduated with a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies in Fine Arts in the span of three years, completed in 2019. Currently, she is a first-year graduate student at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles where she is earning her MFA in Writing and Producing for Television.

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Mahmoud is a 2019 Adobe Creativity Scholar and student at the University of Washington. Originally from Sudan, she lived in several countries, including Yemen and Ethiopia, before relocating to the United States. Her filmmaking is focused on personal documentaries inspired by migration and the experience of living between cultures.

Horizon Award organizers reached out to schools worldwide resulting in close to 300 submissions from a broad range of leading film schools and regional community colleges including: NYU, USC, UCLA, LMU, Yale, Columbia, Emerson, Brown, BU, Australian Film Television and Radio School, Carnegie Mellon, Georgia State, Florida State, Lebanese University (Lebanon), London Film School, Los Angeles Community College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Polish National Film School in Lodz Poland, Tel Aviv University, and Columbia College in Chicago.

Horizon Award founders thanked sponsors Adrienne Shelly Foundation, The Black List, Carnegie Mellon University, Creative Mind Group, Endeavor Content, HBO, MPAA, ReFrame, ShivHans Pictures, Sundance Institute, Alexander White Agency, and Women In Film Los Angeles.

The Horizon Award welcomed back founding supporter, The Adrienne Shelly Foundation, who returned with a $6,000 grant for the two winners.

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Students at the American Film Institute lead the way for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s annual Student Academy Awards.

The Academy named 16 students as winners on Thursday, including three in the narrative category from AFI. The competition received 1,615 entrants from 255 domestic and 105 international colleges and universities, the Academy said.

AFI was the only school to take more than one award. AFI students Asher Jelinsky (“Miller & Son”), Hao Zheng (“The Chef”)  and Omer Ben-Shachar (“Tree #3,”) took home awards in the narrative category. Last year, the University of Southern California was the only school to take home more than one award, with four.

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Winners of the Student Academy Awards are eligible to compete for Oscars in the Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film or Documentary Short Subject category. Past winners have gone on to nab 62 Oscar nominations and have won or shared 12 awards.

The 2019 winners join the ranks of such past Student Academy Award winners as Patricia Cardoso, Pete Docter, Cary Fukunaga, Spike Lee, Trey Parker, Patricia Riggen and Robert Zemeckis.

Here’s the full list of winners:

Alternative/Experimental (Domestic and International Film Schools)
Georden West, “Patron Saint,” Emerson College

Animation (Domestic Film Schools)
Aviv Mano, “Game Changer,” Ringling College of Art and Design
Kalee McCollaum, “Grendel,” Brigham Young University
Emre Okten, “Two,” University of Southern California

Animation (International Film Schools)
Daria Kashcheeva, “Daughter,” Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts, Prague (Czech Republic)

Documentary (Domestic Film Schools)
Eva Rendle, “All That Remains,” University of California, Berkeley
Princess Garrett, “Sankofa,” Villanova University
Abby Lieberman and Joshua Lucas, “Something to Say,” Columbia University

Documentary (International Film Schools)
Yifan Sun, “Family,” The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School, Lodz (Poland)

Narrative (Domestic Film Schools)
Asher Jelinsky, “Miller & Son,” American Film Institute
Hao Zheng, “The Chef,” American Film Institute
Omer Ben-Shachar, “Tree #3,” American Film Institute

Narrative (International Film Schools)
Zoel Aeschbacher, “Bonobo,” Ecole Cantonale d’Art de Lausanne (ECAL) (Switzerland)
Rikke Gregersen, “Dog Eat Dog,” Westerdals Kristiania University College (Norway)
Charlie Manton, “November 1st,” National Film and Television School (United Kingdom)

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The short film “Mano a Mano,” from French director Louise Courvoisier, won the top prize from the Short Films and Cinéfondation Jury headed by Claire Denis at Cannes, the festival announced Thursday.

The jury led by Denis and consisting of Stacy Martin, Eran Kolirin, Panos H. Koutras and C?t?lin Mitulescu chose the winners between 17 student films out of 2,000 entries from 366 film schools around the world. The awards were presented at the 2019 Cinéfondation Prizes, now in its 22nd edition, during a ceremony held in the Buñuel Theatre, followed by the screening of the winning films.

The Cinéfondation allocates a €15,000 grant for the first prize, €11,250 for the second and €7,500 for the third. The winner of the first prize is also guaranteed the presentation of his or her first feature film at a future Cannes Film Festival. The awarded films will also be screened at the Cinéma du Panthéon on May 28.

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First prize went to “Mano a Mano,” directed by Courvoisier and from the school CinéFabrique in France. It’s the story of two circus acrobats traveling from town to town to perform their duet, even as their romantic relationship is falling apart. They’re forced to confront their problems and regain their trust in one another while driving in a small car en route to their next performance.

Second prize went to “Hieu,” directed by Richard Van of CalArts in the US. The short is about a Vietnamese-American household that receives a surprise visit from a long-lost patriarch after he fails at a get-rich-quick scheme.

Finally, a joint third prize was awarded to both “Ambience” directed by Wisa Al Jafari out of the Dar al-Kalima University College of Arts and Culture in Palestine and “Duszyczka” (“The Little Soul”) from director Barbara Rupik at PWSFTviT in Poland.

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“Ambience” is about two young Palestinians who try to record a demo for a music competition inside a noisy, crowded refugee camp, only to discover a creative method to complete their deadline.

“The Little Soul” looks at a dead body that became stuck by a river bank. Its decaying insides still hide a human soul – a miniature of the deceased. When the organs rot, a tiny creature escapes, and it says goodbye to the corpse before setting off on a journey through the post-mortem land.

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The internet started to take on momentum in the 1990s. At that time many analysts, myself included, marveled at the opportunity of creating a platform that would boost grassroot democracy. There was no need for a middleman and there were few barriers to ordinary people becoming involved. This included organizing groups, discussions and events, sharing knowledge, insights and information, publishing opinions — just some of the potential attached to the internet. And for the first two decades, this basically was what happened, in a very positive and constructive way. It did disrupt several business, social and political models but that that was seen as 'a new broom sweeping clean.'

All of that is still happening — and as a matter of fact, it has only increased. However, at the same time, the ugly side of humanity has moved into this area as well. They all jumped on the bandwagon — cheats, plain criminals, misogynists, racists and bullies. This was very unfortunate, but it became serious when more organized misuse of the internet began to take place. This is undermining democracy and democratic processes; many people began to say enough is enough.

Most of the misuse is aimed at generating fake traffic that leads to extra advertising income or click income on YouTube for instance. In proportion to overall internet activity the other, serious political misuse is significantly less. It has, however, far deeper negative consequences. It is using manipulation to set people against each other. It interferes with democratic processes such as elections and undermines democratic institutions.

This criminal internet activity happens more or less in parallel with broader traditional forms of manipulations and is not limited to the internet. The fake news activities and the undermining of democratic institutions are for example carried out by President Trump without the internet. The same is happening in countries such as Britain, Turkey, Hungary, Poland and Italy, to name just a few.

There is no doubt that the internet has become an important tool to create division, hatred and conflict. This has more to do with human behaviour than with technology. Addressing only the technology element of this problem will not solve the much more serious underlying issues.

Division, lies, hatred, fake news, racism and conflict are being used by our leaders in public. It is then not difficult to understand that people perceive this as a license to do the same, with or without technology.

It is important to state that it is not the internet that is causing all of this. So far the internet has created far more positive than negative outcomes, and we need to preserve what's best about it. Most importantly, this includes the freedom for people to express themselves. Equally important is that entrepreneurs can innovate and build new business models. At the same time, we need to ensure that we protect society from broader harm.

We can look at what we have done with other tools that we use — tools like guns, cars, chemicals and drugs. All these products and services can have negatives associated with them. What we have done over the years to address this is to build elements into these products and services to limit the risk and increase safety.

This has been done through the hard work of everyone involved: the government and industry, as well as the users/consumers. As an example, look at cars in the 1970s. They killed 3 to 4 times more people than they do now, and our population has nearly doubled over that period. How did this change happen? Partly through regulation, partly through better products, and partly through human behaviour.

Have we, as a result, eliminated all the harmful elements of motor cars? No, of course not. But the risks have been reduced considerably over those years. This to such a level that the negative (e.g., death by car accidents) seems to be acceptable to most of us. Is that enough? No, it isn't. And so we are still trying to improve, through the combined efforts of government, industry and us, the people.

We will also have to begin to develop similar processes in relation to the internet. However, before we know what we need to do, we will first have to drill down to where the problems are and work out who can do what in addressing the issues.

Starting with the government, Mark Zuckerberg mentioned the need for a more active role for governments and regulators. He suggested the need for an update of the rules for the internet. In particularly in four areas: harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability.

In relation to the industry, he recommends starting with data manipulation aimed at defrauding the internet companies. Here the social media companies have a vested interest in tackling that problem themselves as fraud cost them money. The tools that they develop to minimize this can also be used to address other data manipulation issues — for example, interferences in elections and fake news. As Zuckerburg indicated, the government will also have to play a key role in setting up the rules for this. This will also need to be done at international levels.

It will remain a cat and mouse situation. New — more sophisticated — technologies to combat this will be developed, and they will be circumvented by criminals, and this process will continue. In the end, criminal interferences will be greatly reduced. The reason being that it simply becomes too costly for many of the groups to come up with their own tools to crack the ones developed by industry. The best hope here is for a managed situation, similar to those that have been created to manage other potentially dangerous tools, as in the motor car example.

A challenging issue here is the fact that what is harmful to one society, culture or religion is not necessarily the same for another group. A real threat — or even perhaps a reality — is that this would lead to a further regionalization of the internet. Countries such as China, Iran and North Korea have already created their own walls around the internet, and Russia is also trying to build its wall.

Another issue in relation to the industry is whether some of these companies are becoming too dominant and are showing monopolistic tendencies. A very human reaction to this is that we don't tolerate monopolies. We, therefore, need to start looking at industry legislation, be it anti-trust remedies, breaking up companies or other solutions.

Lastly, we also need to drill down on the people's side. We need to identify and address what causes the problematic behaviour of those misusing the internet before we can address these issues. Education and information at schools and elsewhere will be important. They will deliver longer-term positive outcomes.

Full-blown criminal behavior, racism, hate speech and the like are already punishable under existing laws. Our enforcement agencies, however, are still not well-equipped to address Internet-based crimes as effectively as they address similar crimes conducted in more traditional ways.

I am sometimes alerted by people who read my analyses to information or activities that are of an illegal or criminal nature. I report them to the appropriate authorities, but I have never received an answer from them. And if one goes to a police station to report internet abuse that will still too often elicit a blank look from the officer at the desk.

In order to get the people on board here, they need to be supported by well-functioning institutions. They should be able to take effective action against individuals that are crossing the line online. At the moment there is a feeling among the public that they are losing control over some of the central mechanisms of their lives. In the case of the internet, the lives of most people have been improved, and it has created lots of new economic activity. At the same time, it is also clear that the negatives of technology are such that people are not comfortable with the risks and safety issues. Comparing this with the example of motor cars, it is obvious that more work is needed. And whether we like it or not, people want action now.

So far this is resulting in some countries introducing broad and vague sweeping laws. Laws which are not implemented effectively, because it is impossible to do so while they are still being written. We clearly need to improve on that.

This will become increasingly apparent as time goes on. My colleagues in America say that the problems with the hastily introduced social media legislation will soon become evident in Australia. Other countries will learn from these mistakes and will adopt more realistic legislation to safeguard innovation, economic growth and freedom of speech. These core democratic elements seem to become the casualties of bad legislation. With a lack of effective self-regulation from the digital media giants, there is however no doubt that major changes to these negative elements in the use of the of the Internet will increasingly be regulated and legislated.

Written by Paul Budde, Managing Director of Paul Budde Communication | 4/24/19

Since changes made in 2009 Education in Poland starts at the age of five or six for the 0 class (Kindergarten) and six or seven years in the 1st class of primary school. It is compulsory that children do one year of formal education before entering 1st class at no later than 7 years of age. At the end of 6th class when the students are 13, they take a compulsory exam that will determine to which lower secondary school (gimnazjum, pronounced gheem-nah-sium) (Middle School/Junior High) they will be accepted. They will attend this school for three years for classes, 7, 8, and 9. They then take another compulsory exam to determine the upper secondary level school they will attend. There are several alternatives, the most common being the three years in a liceum or four years in a technikum. Both end with a maturity examination, and may be followed by several forms of upper education, leading to licencjat or inżynier (the Polish Bologna Process first cycle qualification), magister (the Polish Bologna Process second cycle qualification)and eventually doktor (the Polish Bologna Process third cycle qualification).

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