Microsoft, Sundance grant to winner Bala

MUMBAI: Microsoft Corp., together with Sundance Institute presented the Microsoft HDi Grant to director Jason Kohn and producer Jared Goldman for their 2007 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize-winning documentary Manda Bala (Send a Bullet).
Worth an estimated $100,000, the grant provides Kohn and Goldman with resources to author Manda Bala in pristine high definition and develop immersive interactive experiences using Microsoft’s industry-leading HDi technology. HDi technology enables filmmakers to complement their work with features such as picture-in-picture director’s commentary and character biographies that enhance the home viewing experience.
The grant also includes support for production of the finished product on HD DVD along with other digital delivery scenarios. “We put several years into making Manda Bala and this grant lets us explore the digital canvas of HD DVD and HDi and express the work we’ve done in entirely new ways,” Kohn said.
Based on web standards, HDi easily and efficiently extends the benefits of web connectivity to the movie-watching experience and can be applied to both optical and digitally distributed scenarios.

“We’ve always believed that the creative community behind filmmaking would best define how HDi should be used, and this grant is meant to put the technology in the hands of the people who will explore its full potential,” said HD DVD Group general manager Jordi Ribas.
In addition, on 18 January, Microsoft began offering digital rentals of Sundance Film Festival short films on Xbox 360 for 160 Microsoft Points, which can be purchased at retail or online. The Video Store on Xbox LIVE is the leading provider of high-definition on-demand content, with the most hours of high-definition content available, offering movies for video on demand and TV shows and music videos for electronic sell-through.