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Variety Deal Is in the Starz

Starz Entertainment Group LLC is teaming up with Variety (a sister publication to Multichannel News).

Under terms of the deal, the programmer will sponsor the magazine’s annual “Screening Series: in Los Angeles.

Variety’s 2005 Screening Series kicked off in September and will run through December. The event is held at three state-of-the-art theaters: Pacific’s Arclight in Hollywood, the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica and the Fine Arts Theatre in Beverly Hills.

The 38 films to be screened during this year’s event include Rent, Capote, The Squid and the Whale, A History of Violence, Memoirs of a Geisha, The Family Stone, Brokeback Mountain, Crash, King Kong, Transamerica, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Bee Season and Good Night and Good Luck.

During the screenings, Starz Encore will conduct question-and-answer sessions with guests including Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain), Jason Schwartzman (Shopgirl) and writer Steve Conrad (The Weatherman), and the raw footage from these conversations will be made into short programs and special features that will air on Starz and on its Web site (www.starz.com).

Variety is a great match for us,” Starz Encore senior vice president of channel management David Charmatz said in a prepared statement. “They’ve got the best movie news and information, and we’ve got the best movies. This agreement reinforces SEG’s commitment to be the No. 1 resource for hit movies and movie information and to solidify our presence in the Hollywood community. We look forward to a long partnership.”

Variety.com (www.variety.com) general manager Paulo Lemgruber added, “We’re excited about SEG’s plans to broadcast our content to their more than 14 million Starz subscribers and many more visitors to www.starz.com. We are already the film-news source of record within the entertainment industry, and we are looking to this partnership to broaden the reach of our content to a national audience of movie buffs.”