Last edition of the DiGiTalk available at the Ymagis booth # 313 at CineEurope 2015
The new MEDIA Salles Executive Committee elected in Cannes
On Sunday 17 May 2015 in Cannes, the General Meeting of MEDIA Salles elected the Executive Committee for the next three-year term. The Executive Committee has then appointed Paolo Protti as President of the Association and confirmed Tero Koistinen, from the Finnish Cinema Association, as Vice President, Mike Vickers, from the CEA, as Treasurer and Tibor Biro, representing the art-house sector in Hungary, as Committee member.
A new Committee member, Géke Roelink, director of Filmhuis Den Haag and board member of NVB, the Dutch Exhibitors' Association, was also welcomed.
Paolo Protti, a former president of AGIS and ANEC, the Italian Cinema Exhibitors' association, commenting on the role of MEDIA Salles for the coming years, has declared: "As Europe increasingly becomes the strategical centre and engine of initiatives on behalf of the cinema, MEDIA Salles' work will aim to favour the development of national policies for the support of cinema exhibition in line with the commitments of the European Union.
Collection of information on the sector and the elaboration of market intelligence tools - the Association's traditional strong points - will be used to promote this objective and continue to sustain exhibitors, indicating paths of development for their work and solutions in critical areas.
MEDIA Salles will operate in synergy with other organisations in a spirit of collaboration, certain that this will lead to new and fruitful prospects."
The MEDIA Salles courses: an access to international expertise and experiences
The shift to digital projection technology was a unique event in the history of cinema. It would have proven unmanageable had it not been for the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI) specification. The specification provided the basis by which major motion picture distributors would release movies in digital format. Backed by the guarantee of content, compliance with the specification provided banks with the confidence to finance digital projection equipment. While larger exhibitors had the resources to investigate and learn details of the transition, MEDIA Salles played the role of educator for independent cinemas and small/medium sized exhibition companies in Europe. Through MEDIA Salles, these professionals gained - and continue to gain - access to experts in a variety of areas concerning the conversion of cinemas to digital projection, access that would otherwise have been next to impossible to achieve.
"DigiTraining Plus: What do you do with digital now you've got it?"
The training course organized by MEDIA Salles on cinema in the digital age will be held in Prague and Bratislava from 26 to 30 August.
Up to 3 July 2015 enrolments for the 12th edition of the DigiTraining Plus can be made at the special price of 850 euro + VAT, which includes 4 nights in Prague and Bratislava.
Some scholarships are available. Financed by Creative Europe MEDIA Sub-programme and by the Italian Government, in this edition DigiTraining Plus involves the Czech and Slovak Republics as its new partners: Czech Exhibitors' Association, National Film Archive - CZ, Slovak Film Institute, Association of Slovak film Club, State Cinematography Fund - CZ, Ministry of Culture - CZ. The presentation of the course during the Cannes Film Festival was in fact held at the Czech and Slovak Pavilion on 16 May (Photogallery). This provided an opportunity to screen the promotional video for DigiTraining Plus, made by the Czech artist Karolína Slováková.
Participants will move between Prague and Bratislava on their visits to the cinemas Světozor, Aero, Hostivař and Lumière. They will listen to talks by speakers with international experience, with whom they will be able to interact and who will provide inspiration for debates and more detailed investigation. The topics will touch on issues of current interest, from the replacement of digital projectors nearing obsolescence to the introduction of new services and equipment such as laser technology, HDR and immersive sound, right up to added content and the use of the social media in building audience. In addition, special spaces on the programme will be reserved for exchanges between participants.
This will be an opportunity for exhibitors, programmers, distributors of digital content and those who work in film archives or in public institutions in this sector to update on the state and prospects of cinema exhibition, acquiring tools for the analysis of the new markets and the offer to audiences in view of the changes that the new technologies have brought to theatre management and programming.
To obtain further information on the course and download the application form:http://www.mediasalles.it/training/training.htm
The aim of this column is to go beyond the appereance given by the numbers
Developments in Greek Cinema
by Anna Kasimati
From its very first steps, Greek Cinema has had a character all of its own, a freshness of approach, a distinctive way of looking at the world which soon earned it a special place on the panorama of international films. But we are talking about the output of a small country with very limited linguistic expansion - Greek is only spoken in Greece and Cyprus- and a limited production capacity. So up until a few years ago, it was quite unlikely anyone could imagine a time when Greek movies would be Greece's number one cultural export. Not least, at a time of financial crisis, in which culture was one of the very first victims. And yet, in an unexpected turn of events, the explosive social and economic developments, and the talented and idiosyncratic gaze of Greek filmmakers, have helped draw the attention of major international festivals and critics to Greek productions. Although the crisis is by no means over, Greek Cinema has managed to make its mark and to break through its national borders once again. This brings us up against issues that are far from abstract or theoretical, but preeminently practical, associated with working on an international market in the crucial field of culture and audiovisuals: or, more accurately and frankly, with the difficulties that we have to overcome in order to meet the requirements of digitization and international terms of economic and commercial competition.
The Greek Film Center aims to continue being a strong ally to every Greek filmmaker. And although it inevitably struggles under extremely difficult circumstances, due to dramatically reduced means compared to most similar public agencies in Europe, it is determined to continue supporting Greek filmmaking in every way. The New Regulations for Funding is the GFC's basic tool here and aims at covering every aspect of the filmmaking process, from supporting script development to sponsoring completed film projects. At the same time, it includes funding for new directors and ensures equal opportunities for expensive, low-budget, and innovative / artistic projects, undertaking to fund all sorts of cinema: short films, films for children and adolescents, and, of course, documentaries. In addition, one of its basic goals is to provide motivation for attracting foreign productions to Greece. The MEDIA Program in general has also contributed to improving the development stage of Greek projects, since it has introduced the notion of all the in-depth parameters in development. As a result, stronger Greek projects have made it onto the European and then the international market. In addition, the training sector has also contributed to improving the skills of Greek professionals and their ability to network with their European colleagues. Added value here has come in the form of the reinforcement of networking and co-productions. Moreover, the newly established "Creative Europe" scheme extends MEDIA's intense commitments to broader cultural areas, such as television, music, literature, and the performing arts.
Digital Cinema in Greece
The protection and enhancement of national film heritage was achieved to a large extent through the creation of the Digital Archive, which became possible thanks to the inclusion of the project under the Operational Program "Information Society" by the Special Secretariat of Digital Planning. The project's objective was: "the maintenance, rescue, recovery and documentation of a substantial number of period films from 1950 to 2000". This objective was implemented in the selection, technical preparation and digitization of a total 404 hours of filmed material corresponding to 284 feature films and documentaries, and short films.
Greece has not yet provided for a large pilot program of transition to digital technology. This could not be done on a national scale due to the difficulty of covering the cost of putting digital equipment in cinemas or meeting the need for technical training that arises. Up to now the digitization of cinemas has come about as a consequence of independent private investment from distribution companies and cinema owners.
As far as festivals are concerned, a number of events include digital films only in their program. One of these is the International Film Festival of Naoussa specializing in short films, which was the first to put digital cinema in the limelight. The majority of film festivals, including two of the country's major film events, the Thessaloniki Film Festival and the International Short Film Festival in Drama, also wish to keep up with developments in modern digital technology and have changed their regulations on the acceptance of films over the last few years. According to the organizers "every year one can draw useful conclusions on how young filmmakers exploit the evolution of technology".
Anna Kasimati was born in Athens in 1973. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies and an MA in Communication Policy. She has 15 years of experience in film, media and cultural issues. Her current position is Head of Research and Programmes Office at the Greek Film Center, for the implementation, operation, monitoring and management of approved projects under the National Strategic Reference Framework-NSRF and other European funds at national level. She is also the Project Manager and Contact person for the Creative Europe Media Sub-programme in Greece.
ALL DIFFERENT ALL DIGITAL
This column hosts portraits of cinemas in Europe and the rest of the world which are quite different from one another but have in common the fact that they have all adopted digital projection.
Lumière by Elisabetta Brunella
No. of screens
No. of digital screens
At the moment the Lumière in Bratislava is showing the Italian titles included in their Dolcevitaj event, the most recent European films, as well as classics ranging from Apocalypse Now to masterpieces of Russian cinema. The Kino Lumière is far more than just a cinema: it is not only a landmark for quality films in the Slovakian capital, but also the heart of a real pole of cinema for the conservation and enjoyment of national and international film heritage. Located in the city centre between the banks of the Danube and the Presidential Palace, this modern building houses four screens, seating a total of 400 spectators, as well as the national film archive and - a real carnation in their buttonhole - an avant-garde audiovisual centre. The structure was built thanks partly to funds provided by the European Union and covers a broad area of over 700 square metres that had remained empty after having been used as a pub for many years. The rebuilding work began in 2011 and since 2014, thanks to an initiative by the Slovakian Film Foundation, an ambitious project has been underway for digitalizing the whole of Slovak national film production, from its very beginnings onwards. The objective is to exploit the new technologies not only for conserving films, but also to make it easier for them to be screened for the general public through various channels, starting from the big screen. The project is being carried out by a team of eighty specialists, headed by Peter Csordás and provided with excellent equipment, starting with a 4K Barco projector connected to a colour grading system. They have already succeeded in digitalizing over half of the titles on the agenda. "Our objective is to convert 1,000 films to digital in five years, with the intention of contributing to safeguarding European cinema culture and ensuring that when 35mm projectors have become a complete rarity there will always be opportunities - indeed more of them - to get to know the masterpieces of the past."
Lumičre will be visited during DigiTraining Plus 2015
NOT ONE LESS
The process of digitalization in cinemas, albeit with considerable differences from territory to territory, is reaching its final phase and the so-called "switch-off" for traditional film is almost complete. But which cinemas have not yet converted to the new technology? And why? This column has been opened to find answers to these questions, presenting portraits of cinemas in Europe that have not yet digitalized or that are still looking for a way to deal with the shift.
No. of screens
Deptford Cinema - London
Isn't there a cinema in your neighbourhood? Why not try do-it-yourself! This is what the inhabitants must have thought in Lewisham, one of the two areas in the British capital that is not served by a movie theatre.
This is how, in the south-east of London, the Deptford Cinema came into being, thanks to the initiative of a no-profit association that brought together an initial nucleus of volunteers. But unlike other situations in which generous film buffs commit themselves to programming or theatre mangement, here cinema volunteers more or less built it from scratch.
They found a commercial area that had been abandoned for some time and devoted themselves to the work of restructuring and transformation. In the meantime they launched a series of events aiming to attract the attention of local inhabitants and involve them in the project.
The so-called 'DIY Screenings' have ranged from the celebration of the 25th anniversary of Kryzsztof Kieslowski's Decalogue, in partnership with prestigious bodies like the ICA and the Polish Cultural Centre, to a series of science fiction films, animated by a critic like Mark Kermode.
Financing to purchase the equipment for this small cinema (seating around fifty) but with great ambitions came from an enthusiastically supported crowdfunding campaign. In fact, more than money, it is participation that is important for the future of the Deptford Cinema. Involving the citizens of Lewisham, giving visibility to productions by local artists, free programming in a completely different perspective to that of the multiplexes: these are the objectives of the Deptford Cinema in the words of its initiator, Edward Mungard. We don't know if he is familiar with the songs of Giorgio Gaber but he might well appreciate "freedom means participation".
2) Cinetel data. In 1996: 146 towns - 1 050 screens. In 1997: 174 towns - 1 250 screens. In 1998: 184 towns - 1 320 screens. In 1999: 221 towns - 1 537 screens. In 2000: 270 towns - 1 782 screens. In 2001: 1 856 screens. In 2002: 2 376 screens. In 2003: 2 441 screens. In 2004: 2 819 screens. In 2005: 2 982 screens. In 2006: 3 041 screens. In 2007: 3 085 screens. In 2008: 3 144 screens. In 2009: 3 277 screens. In 2010: 3 217. In 2011: 3 227. In 2012: 3 238. In 2013: 3 256. In 2014: 3.261.
3) New releases.
5) United Kingdom and Ireland. Percentage of box office. In 2008 cumulative box office total up to 2 March 2009. In 2009 cumulative box office total up to 21 February 2010. In 2010 cumulative box office total up to 10 February 2011. In 2011 cumulative box office total up to 12 February 2012. In 2012 cumulative box office total up to 3 January 2013. In 2013 cumulative box office total up to 19 January 2014.
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