132,000 digital projectors are installed throughout the world, which means that over 90% of the approximately 145,000 commercial screens have now opted for the new technology. Europe is in line with this average, though a country-by-country analysis reveals a situation that is still uneven, with several territories below the European average. Amongst these appear the Czech Republic and Slovakia, markets where digital screens cover respectively 55% and 76%.
'And yet," states Elisabetta Brunella in her presentation of the analysis carried out by MEDIA Salles, 'it would be a mistake to conclude that in these countries there is scarce interest or a lack of commitment towards digitalization, compared, for example, to other markets in Eastern Europe itself, such as Romania, which boasts a digitalization rate of 91%.
Indeed, if the offer of digital screens is considered in relation to the number of inhabitants, it can be seen that in the Czech Republic there is a projector for every 22,000 inhabitants, in Slovakia one for every 33,500, whilst in Romania one every 55,400.
If anything, the situation of a country like the Czech Republic, characterized by the availability of cinemas even in rural zones and outside the main built-up areas, should attract our attention to the need for theatres that play a more social and cultural rather than commercial role to access digitalization. Failing to do this means agreeing to technological innovation becoming a means for eliminating the economically weaker players from the market.
Precisely to avoid the countryside cinemas closing due to the impossibility of their investing in digital, in 2012 Slovakia set up a special fund. We were reminded of this today by Peter Dubecký, Director of the Slovak Film Institute, in his talk, given in the significant surroundings of the Kino Lumière, Bratislava's landmark for the screening of domestic - both contemporary and classic - and European films.
Moreover, failing to make the most of the social and cultural role of cinemas would not make sense in a country like Slovakia, intensely involved in safeguarding and making known its cinematographic heritage. This is, in fact, the objective of the project led by the Digital Department, 700 sq. m. on the lower floor of the Kino Lumière, quipped with avant-garde technology. As confirmed by Peter Csordás, Director of the Department, this morning, one thousand titles are being restored and digitized, for a total of 270 hours of footage.
Promoting greater awareness of the films of the past by relying on new technology is thus an intention that can be defined transversal, or common both to cultural institutions and to commercial companies. Yesterday Nick Varley had already stressed how digital technology had made it possible for a distribution company like his own - Park Circus, based in Scotland - which had already built up a catalogue of 10,000 35mm films over the years, to transform itself into a supplier of classics in digital format operating in 80 different countries.
Giovanni Cozzi, founder of Rising Alternative, also spoke today about the chances digital makes available for diversifying programming. Based on data collected over four years in cinemas in more than 10 different countries that had screened added content at least 200 times in a year, Cozzi showed that in Europe these programmes can bring an average of as many as 145 spectators into theatres on week days, as in the case of France. Cozzi cautiously added that content such as opera, ballet, art exhibitions are not by definition an 'ace up your sleeve" but must be part of careful strategic programming which only the exhibitor can decide, based on a knowledge of his or her audiences, their socio-demographic characteristics and interests.
The relationship between cinema, spectators and potential audiences was a theme that was also examined by Adam Zbiejczuk, who gave the participants some interesting examples of how Facebook could be used.
Informamos a nuestros seguidores que hablan español que el compañero de la revista Cineinforme Manuel Mansergas Monte está cubriendo el curso DigiTraining en exclusiva para España.
The course is organized by MEDIA Salles with the partnership of
and the collaboration of