Cusack shines at ShowEast


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ORLANDO -- John Cusack will be awarded the Star of the Year Award at ShowEast 2007.

Cusack, who toplines the drama "Grace Is Gone," which will be screened at the confab Wednesday, will be honored the same night in a special presentation. ShowEast opens Monday at the Orlando Marriott World Center, with first-day events primarily geared toward international distribs and exhibs.

"With an impressive body of work spanning the course of more than two decades, John Cusack has evolved into one of Hollywood's most accomplished and respected actors of his generation," ShowEast co-managing director Mitch Neuhauser said. "He has garnered both critical acclaim (and) prestigious accolades for his dramatic as well as comedic roles."

The Weinstein Co. will release "Grace" on Dec. 7. Written and directed by James C. Strouse, the film premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, where it garnered an audience award. In it, Cusack plays Stanley Phillips, a young father who takes his two daughters on an impulsive road trip upon learning that his wife Grace has been killed in service in Iraq.

Monday's ShowEast events include presentations offering the global perspective on such industry issues as digital cinema and Internet marketing. Various distributors will make Latin American slate presentations, and an international luncheon will be highlighted by the presentation of awards to distribution and exhibition execs.

Mexico's deputy attorney general, Felipe de Jesus Munoz Vazquez, will be honored with a special award recognizing his office's anti-piracy leadership.

ShowEast, which runs through Thursday, is marking its 23rd year. It is owned and operated by Nielsen Film Group of Nielsen Business Media, publisher of The Hollywood Reporter.