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Can Power & Clout Overcome The Prejudice Attached
To Urban Films Where Stations Across Europe Have
Shown Reluctance To Air Similar Features To Chocolate
City - Can The Magic Mike Of Color Break The Barrier?

Chocolate City starring Robert Ri'chard, Michael Jai White, DeRay Davis, Tyson Beckford, Darrin Dewitt Henson and Vivica A. Fox
Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) and BET Networks (BETN), the #1 network for the African American audience, have announced the acquisition and joint distribution strategy for the new feature film, Chocolate City.

Chocolate City stars Robert Ri'chard, Michael Jai White, DeRay Davis, Tyson Beckford, Darrin Dewitt Henson and Vivica A. Fox. The film is written and directed by Jean-Claude LaMarre. The film co-stars Tyson Beckford and Michael Jai White. Welcome to Chocolate City, where the music is hot, the mood is magical, and the dancers are simply delicious. Women go wild when the arrival of a young, new dancer (Robert Ri'chard) has the spot sizzling like never before. When his part time job doesn't pay the bills, he begins to find success at the nightclub dancing as "Sexy Chocolate." As the money starts rolling in, Michael must deal with the unexpected pressure of being the new favorite flavor while hiding his "job" from his mother and girlfriend.

Under the first-of-its-kind agreement for the two Viacom units, PHMD holds the worldwide rights to the film and will handle distribution across all home entertainment and international television platforms while BETN controls the worldwide television premiere rights.

Amy Reinhard, President, Worldwide Television Distribution and Home Media Acquisitions, Paramount Pictures, said: "We are excited to debut this fun and entertaining film across an array of platforms to reach the widest possible audience. As part of Viacom, we are in a unique position to not only maximize our global home media and television distribution organization, but also to capitalize on the strength of BET, which is the ideal television destination for this property."

Barbara Zaneri, Executive Vice President, Program Acquisitions, Viacom Media Networks, who brokered the deal internally and externally, said: "This acquisition represents an opportunity to bring together both the film and television units of Viacom in an unprecedented fashion that benefits all."

Brian O'Shea, CEO of The Exchange, said: "I could not be happier to have Chocolate City with Paramount and BET. To work with both units at Viacom on this film has been great. Paramount and BET are highly passionate about the film and have been fully supportive from day one. Simply put, they are wonderful allies."

The film will have a theatrical release in the U.S. through Freestyle Releasing. The deal was negotiated by Viacom Media Networks, Paramount Home Media Distribution and The Exchange, a leading sales and distribution company.

About Paramount Home Media Distribution
Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), home to premier media brands that create television programs, motion pictures, consumer products, and digital content for audiences in more than 165 countries and territories. The PHMD division oversees PPC's home entertainment and transactional digital distribution activities worldwide. The division is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and CBS and applicable licensing and servicing of certain DreamWorks Animation titles. PHMD additionally manages global licensing of studio content and transactional distribution across worldwide digital distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices and emerging technologies.

About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.

About The Exchange
Collaborative and transparent, The Exchange is a leading international sales and finance company committed to creating strong relationships between filmmakers, film financers and distributors through the exchange of product, information and commerce. Created by veteran sales executive Brian O'Shea, the company specializes in high quality, commercial films that appeal to North American audiences and the ever-evolving global film market.
 
 

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