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June 11, 2003
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THE HIRE Inducted Into MOMA Permanent Collection

bmwfilms.com Executive Featured Speaker at AICP Brand Integration Honors

Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey - bmwfilms.com's The Hire series was inducted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) today. The event was part of the festivities surrounding the Association of Independent Commercial Producers, Inc. (AICP) awards show, which takes place tomorrow. All eight films in the award-winning Internet short-film series were screened at the MOMA Film at The Gramercy Theatre in New York City.

For the past 11 years, MOMA and AICP have partnered for the AICP show, The Arts & Technique of The American Television Commercial. The museum archives the show reel each year. Last year's show bestowed honors on two of the BMW films.


The Hire series revolves around one intriguing central character known as The Driver played by British acting sensation Clive Owen ("The Bourne Identity," "Gosford Park," and "Croupier.") Each film brings together Hollywood elite -- top-name directors such as John Frankenheimer, Ang Lee, Guy Ritchie, Tony Scott and Joe Carnahan combined with remarkable casts including Madonna, Gary Oldman and James Brown. The film series is a truly unique platform in which BMW with co-creators Fallon Worldwide and production partners Anonymous Content (season one) and RSA (season two) packaged its brand message in short films that redefined the genre.

As part of the AICP Awards program, McDowell will be a featured speaker on Monday, June 9th at the Brand Integration Honors panel. The panel will showcase an analysis by individuals responsible for the creation of the most interesting examples of brand presence in entertainment and content.

The eight films in the series, which will be screened, include:

Ambush, directed by John Frankenheimer was the first dramatic film in the series. On a dark freeway, a van swerves close to the Driver and the door slides open. From inside, masked gunmen threaten to fire unless the Driver stops and surrenders his passenger (Tomas Milian), a seemingly harmless man they accuse of smuggling diamonds. It's a simple choice: do or die.

Chosen, directed by Ang Lee is a stunning mystery where the Driver meets a ship carrying an eight-year-old Tibetan boy at a dark, deserted New York shipyard. But he's not the only one waiting. The director's son, Mason Lee, co-stars.

The Follow, directed by Wong Kar-Wai showcases his ability to play heart against the mind. In this drama, the cunning tactics of trailing another car quickly evolve into a mystery rife with deceit, as the Driver is hired to follow a woman accused of cheating on her famous husband. The film co-stars Mickey Rourke and Adriana Lima.

Star, directed by Guy Ritchie stars Madonna. The Driver faces perhaps his most perplexing challenge: coming face-to-face with a hugely talented and successful rock star. But beneath her beauty lies a problem - she always gets what she wants. The two characters face-off in a battle of power against power.

Powder Keg, directed by Alejandro González Ińárritu. Soldiers, fingers on triggers, patrol a coup-ravaged city in South America. Their mission: find a photojournalist who has snapped a picture certain to enrage the world against their leader. The Driver is the photographer's only hope of getting him and his film beyond the fiercely guarded border.

Hostage, directed by John Woo, is a taut action-thriller. The Driver is hired to deliver ransom money for a distinguished C.E.O. (Kathryn Morris) who's been kidnapped. When the exchange goes awry and the kidnapper (Maury Chaykin) provides a phone number instead of the hostage, the Driver must race against time to find her before her cell phone battery - and her air supply - runs out.

Ticker, directed by Joe Carnahan, is full of political espionage, dramatic tension, and emotional suspense. The film is a tense thriller involving the delivery of a mysterious brief case. The Driver becomes the contingency plan for a foreign dignitary (F. Murray Abraham) and a government agent (Don Cheadle) as a team of secret service agents (Ray Liotta, Robert Patrick and Dennis Haysbert) awaits the arrival of the ticking case.

Beat the Devil, directed by Tony Scott is a dark comedy, which finds the Driver, hired to chauffeur a famous rock star (James Brown) to a meeting with a man we're led to believe is the devil (Gary Oldman). The rock star once sold his soul in exchange for fame and fortune, and now, in his twilight years, wants to renegotiate. The devil won't budge, and instead, challenges the star and the Driver to a drag race. Rocker Marilyn Manson adds an edgy note to this already soulful short.

(June 8, 2003)

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