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Entertainment takes center stage at Mobile Backstage
|11 февраля 2008|
The face of mobile content turns ruggedly handsome at Mobile World Congress - Academy Award winner and independent film pioneer Robert Redford will keynote Mobile Backstage, the one-day mobile entertainment conference produced by the GSM Association in collaboration with Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter. The event takes place Wednesday, Feb. 13.
Redford is no stranger to mobile - in late 2006, his non-profit Sundance Institute launched the Sundance Film Festival: Global Short Film Project, an initiative spotlighting three-to-five minute short films made exclusively for screening on mobile handsets. The project was showcased at last year's event in Barcelona. Also, in January, Verizon Wireless added short-form programming from cable's Sundance Channel to its V Cast Video service.
Redford's Mobile Backstage keynote promises to focus on the potential of the mobile platform as a channel for independent filmmakers to reach a worldwide audience. Mobile Backstage will also spotlight acclaimed actress and director Isabella Rossellini, who will discuss her role in a new series of mobile shorts titled Green Porno - a name no doubt guaranteed to land untold copies of this preview issue in subscribers' spam folders - as well as Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am, who will explore the future of mobile music.
Mobile Backstage spins out of Billboard's Mobile Entertainment Live! conference, a staple at recent CTIA-sponsored industry events. It remains to be seen whether Mobile Backstage will generate the same level of attention as its predecessors given the enormous scale of the Barcelona show. "Is the buzz surrounding the event bigger than the actual event?" asks John Puterbaugh, founder and chief strategist with mobile media and service delivery platform provider Nellymoser. "[Mobile World Congress] is covering a lot of key mobile entertainment topics as part of its regular track. The speakers are a very eclectic group right now. I don't know if the headliners are enough to set [Mobile Backstage] apart."
Speaking of eclectic, don't expect any one dimension of the overall mobile data experience to dominate the discussion and headlines coming out of Barcelona - Puterbaugh forecasts social networking, advertising, discovery and mobile TV and video among the hot topics at Mobile World Congress, but he doesn't anticipate anything revolutionary on the immediate horizon. "We're in limbo right now - moving from 2.5G to 3G was not a game-changer, and there were no new services that really blew people away," Puterbaugh says. "Until 4G comes around, we're not going to have those kinds of innovative new applications and services."