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MK2 Bows Second Cinema Paradiso Edition, Eyes Expansion (EXCLUSIVE)

MK2, the Paris-based arthouse exhibition and sales company, is ramping up its alternative moviegoing projects with the second edition of Cinema Paradiso.

Created and spearheaded by MK2 Agency’s boss Elisha Karmitz, Cinema Paradiso is an 11-day festival dedicated to movies, food and clubbing housed at the Grande Palais, one of Paris’ most prestigious venues. For the occasion, the Grand Palais will be transformed with two 2,000-seat theaters featuring front-row beds, France’s biggest nightclub, a bowling alley and a restaurant. Karmitz has secured a strong lineup of DJs and musicians such as Breakbot.

Cinema Paradiso will host the French premiere of “Entourage” for Warner Bros. on the festival’s opening night on June 16. Xavier Dolan’s “Mommy” will also playing on opening night.

Cinema Paradiso has also attracted Chanel as a sponsor. The fashion house will customize the bowling alley inside the Grand Palais for the festival.

Budgeted at 3.5 million euros ($3.9 million), the festival provides MK2 with recurring revenues which are complementary to the exhibition and international sales biz, explained Karmitz.

While in Cannes, Karmitz told Variety that MK2 was aiming to create a label with Cinema Paradiso and expand it in all major capitals: Madrid, London, Sao Paulo, New York. Karmitz said MK2 will next roll out Cinema Paradiso in Sao Paulo, although specific plans are still under wraps.

“Cinema Paradiso is all about providing audiences with a unique experience before, during and after movies,” said Karmitz.

MK2 started expanding its geographical footprint last year with the acquisition of Spain’s Cinesur exhibition circuit that comprises 120 screens.

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