Who controls the future of creative content is the big question posed at the 2008 Media Summit in London.
The high-level conference, organised by Screen International, Broadcast and Q magazine, brings some of the biggest thinkers in the film, television and new media businesses to talk about the changing entertainment language.
They will look at the impact of new forms of production and distribution on the existing industries and at the potential for new business models.
The summit at the British Film Institute on January 16, is expected to attract around 300 delegates from around the world.
The expert line-up includes Yair Landau, vice-chairman, Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) and president of Sony Pictures Digital (SPD), the business he founded back in 1999.
Landau is leading Sony's work in the digital field. SPD - which brings together Sony Pictures Animation, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Online Entertainment, SonyPictures.com - works in a wide range of fields including animation and games. He will offer his vision of how technology can create a new form of film-making.
Disney's global distribution chief Ben Pyne is responsible for the international distribution and sales of all entertainment content produced by The Walt Disney Company, including feature films, television series and direct-to-video content.
He will consider how a cross-platform distribution strategy can create a new relationship with consumers.
Tim Richards, CEO of UK exhibitor Vue Entertainment, will talk about what digital distribution will mean to the theatrical business.
Richards has been a strong advocate of the shift to digital cinema, which he believes means offering customers a wider choice of product screened at higher quality.
The Media Summit will also feature contributions from some of the new media business leaders whose brands have rapidly become players in the film business.
They include Mike Volpi, CEO of internet television and online distribution business Joost, which has this year signed dozens of film deals. Built on peer-to-peer technology, Joost has advanced by offering a genuinely on-demand means to reach audiences. Volpi will consider whether the internet is set to become the dominant platform for distributing film and television.
Other new media contributions will come from Jeremy Allaire, CEO of video sharing and distribution site Brightcove; and Joanna Shields, President of social networking site Bebo.
Joost, Brightcove and Bebo have come a long way since the first Media Summit took place in January this year. The packed event heard from speakers such as Richard Fox, vice-president, international, at Warner Bros; Viacom UK chief executive Michiel Bakker; and Jamie Kantrowitz, senior vice-president of content and marketing in Europe for MySpace.
Screen International editor Michael Gubbins said the event had quickly established itself as an important means to access the top-level debate about the future of entertainment, adding: "Virtually everyone accepts that we are in a period of profound change in which much of the way film is produced, sold and distributed will be transformed. It's rare to get together such a high calibre of speakers with businesses at the heart of that change."
Other contributors to the event include:
Peter Bazalgette, chief creative officer, Endemol (summit chairman)
Ajaz Ahmed, co-founder & chairman, Akqa
John Smith, chief executive officer, BBC Worldwide
Rory Sutherland, vice-chairman, Ogilvy Group UK
Elisabeth Murdoch, chairman & chief executive, Shine.
For more information on the summit, visit www.themediasummit.com