'Star Wars' also to be recognized at Variety event
Producer Avi Lerner, Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Mitch Singer, Gaiam’s Bill Sondheim and “Star Wars: The Complete Saga” will be inducted into Variety’s Home Entertainment Hall of Fame in December.Walmart Stores will receive the inaugural Innovation Award at the ceremony set for Dec. 3 at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Event will serve as a benefit for the Starlight Children’s Foundation. Lerner, founder and chairman of Nu Image and Millennium Films, has amassed more 350 film credits including the “Expendables” franchise, “Brooklyn’s Finest” and “The Mechanic.” Singer, Sony’s chief digital strategy officer, is spearheading the studio’s transition from physical to digital content distribution and has coordinated its anti-piracy efforts. Gaiam topper Sondheim has led the indie distribution company since 2010 and orchestrated its acquisition this year of Vivendi Entertainment. “These honorees demonstrate the advances being made on every front in home entertainment. They have rewritten the rules in creative, in marketing and distribution, and in technology,” said Variety publishing director Linda Buckley-Bruno. “Star Wars: The Complete Saga,” encompassing the six George Lucas pics, set global sales records last year with its Blu-ray release. Walmart’s Innovation Award will be accepted by Chris Nagelson, veep of entertainment merchandising for the retail giant.