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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

State of Arkansas Production-Financing Rebates Triggers Local Media Coverage for HHSE

Greetings HHSE Friends & Followers - HHSE's involvement in four feature films during Q4 (2016) caught the attention of business writers tracking rebates and activities under the State of Arkansas Film Incentives program (and media rebates).  Although only "Mother Goose" has been specifically identified in the media as one of the State of Arkansas rebate productions, the other three features are also generating buzz at both the State House level, as well as within the Northwest Arkansas business community.  Add to this activity our move to impressive, executive office suites at 300 N. College, and the combined impact is a lot of local enthusiasm.

As disclosed recently, we have outgrown the office-warehouse combo location in Springdale, where we've resided since March, 2008.  Most of the current office space is for warehousing, which has been moved to off-site fulfillment (for far lesser costs), and with the company focused more on theatrical activities and production of higher profile films, moving to higher-end offices (instead of staying in a warehouse district), seemed like the right move based on these changing, growing and improving circumstances.

By the way, in a semi-related matter to our office location - some shareholders have asked why over 4-million of our DVD boxes list the address for Hannover House as being:  1722 N. College Ave., Fayetteville, AR  72703.  Yes, that's a UPS Mail Box location that the company has maintained as the repository of mail for 15-years.  It's our primary mail address, and always has been since 2001. So - why have a UPS store mail box as the "public" address?  It's because of well-intended "drop-ins" of people that want to pitch us on their "brilliant" (!!) movie ideas, or "audition" in our lobby... and many of these uninvited guests have been surprisingly insistent on seeing Parkinson and Shefte, unscheduled, to play their Ukulele or show us their Michael Jackson moonwalk move.  Drop-ins became so problematic that when we moved to Springdale in 2008, we purposely did NOT put up a SIGN on the building, and we did NOT change the address on all of our DVD packaging from the UPS Store mail drop.

Anyway, for those "in the know" (or who are NOT dispositionally insistent on promoting non-existent, alternative realities), we're very excited about the current distribution activities, the upcoming theatrical slate, the current "upgrade" of office facilities and the corporate governance filings for HHSE.  Now that our "current" status has been restored with the OTC Markets, you will begin seeing a lot more media coverage.

Hannover House Releases Movies to Theatres First
(Reprinted by permission of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal / Oct. 7, 2016)

Eric Parkinson, right, CEO of Hannover House Inc., attends the final mix of feature docudrama "Bonobos: Back to the Wild" in Los Angeles, along with, from left, sound recordist Rob Chen, film producer Vivian Schilling of Fayetteville and sound mixer Kami Asgar. Hannover House co-produced the movie with MC4 of France, released it to theaters in 40 U.S. cities and will put it on DVD and Blu-ray in January.

Media distributor Hannover House Inc. of Springdale recently shifted its focus to releasing movies direct to theaters instead of DVD.
With its new venture, Medallion Releasing Inc., the company has started to release higher-quality films to theaters, enhancing its sales to home video, streaming services and television, said Eric Parkinson, chief executive officer for Hannover House. He partly credits the sales increase to “the visibility and credibility that theatrical titles enjoy over direct-to-video titles.”
Another strong shift in its business model is the production of original feature films.
“Arkansas has several beneficial ‘rebate’ incentive programs for original feature film productions,” Parkinson said.
Hannover House is working on a major movie, “Mother Goose: Journey to Utopia,” starring Samuel L. Jackson and Shirley MacLaine. Filming is expected to start in Northwest Arkansas in January, and the movie might be released as early as November 2017.
Also, the company started VODWIZ, a channel for streaming media, and will be similar to internet streaming sites such as Netflix or Amazon.
“Our business plan for VODWIZ is to have the largest catalog of independent, foreign, esoteric and art films available for digital streaming,” Parkinson said. The channel is expected to be launched to consumers in January when it will have more than 1,000 titles available.
The company started as a book publisher in 1993, and when it moved to Northwest Arkansas in 2002, started selling independent films on DVD.
“The DVD business was robust from 2002 until 2008, at which time consumer trends started shifting away from ‘independent’ films and DVDs toward bigger-budgeted theatrical titles and alternative forms of delivery, such as streaming directly to homes,” Parkinson said.
The company continues to publish books, but at a more targeted level, selling to retailers such as Barnes & Noble Booksellers Inc., Hudson Group Retail LLC and Books-A-Million Inc. It is slated to release four book titles in 2017.

Hannover House Moving to Fayetteville
Media distribution company Hannover House Inc. is in the process of relocating its corporate office from Springdale to Fayetteville, CEO Eric Parkinson said.
The move to the Today’s Bank building at 300 N. College St. comes after the company secured high-profile actors Samuel L. Jackson and Shirley MacLaine to star in “Mother Goose: Journey to Utopia,” which is expected to start filming in Northwest Arkansas in January.
“We’re stepping up our game,” Parkinson said.
Parkinson expects the move from 1428 Chester St. in Springdale to be completed by mid-October.
“Mother Goose: Journey to Utopia,” will cost $5.5 million to produce, Parkinson said.
Hannover House acquired rights to the script five years ago, and the movie has been in the works ever since.
The company attracted the interest of MacLaine and Jackson because “the material was strong, and both actors are represented by the same agent,” Parkinson said.
After MacLaine became interested in the movie, MacLaine’s agent, ICM Partners, who also represents Jackson, recommended him for a part in the movie.
“It’s a high-profile film as far as stars,” Parkinson said. It’s also “low risk” in that it will be produced in Arkansas, he said.
“Everything here is more affordable."