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3D Summit Forgives, Books M. Knight Shyamalan

Director of the widely-derided ”The Last Airbender“ named as keynote speaker at 3D conference

AWARDS BEAT

The 3D Entertainment Summit has named three keynote speakers, and one of them has some explaining to do.

Director M. Knight Shyamalan, whose adventure film “The Last Airbender” has been widely mocked for its hasty 3D conversion, will deliver one of the keynote addresses at the two-day conference, which will take place on September 15 and 16 at the Hilton Los Angeles in Universal City.

The other two keynotes will be delivered by Sony Pictures Technologies president Chris Cookson, the tech chief at the major studio that has made the biggest commitment in quality 3D, and by the previously announced DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, for years one of the entertainment industry’s biggest 3D advocates

M. Knight ShymalanBut it’s Shyamalan’s choice that raises eyebrows, since the director’s last film is, in the view of most critics, second only to “Clash of the Titans” as an example of how not to use 3D.

“The process is to genuine 3D — the kind you see in ‘Toy Story 3′or ‘How to Train Your Dragon’— what colorization is to color: A ghoulish simulation,” wrote Ty Burr in the Boston Globe of the film’s conversion.

A.O. Scott of the New York Times said the film was hampered by “a last-minute 3-D conversion that wrecks whatever visual grace or beauty might have been there.”

Event co-producer Bob Dowling, though, lauded Shyamalan in a press release: “Using new creative techniques to tell stories with fierce and brilliant intelligence has been the hallmark of M. Night Shyamalan's remarkable career, and we look forward to his insights into the immersive narrative possibilities of 3D as one of our Keynote Speakers.”

The summit is produced by the Bob Dowling Group and Unicomm, LLC, and presented in association with Variety. 

More information is available at www.3d-summit.com.