International Edition No. 13 - year 1 - 29 June 2006
Special issue on the occasion of the "Focus on Europe online" initiative
during Cinema Expo International 2006


by Elisabetta Brunella, Secretary General of MEDIA Salles

In the most recent of its initiatives, “Focus on Europe online”, during which – using an innovative procedure – MEDIA Salles continued, during the course of Cinema Expo International, to accompany exhibitors with its INFORMATION and PROMOTION activities on behalf of European films, a specific focus on digital cinema could not be missing.
And so this special edition of “DGT online informer” is published, placing the emphasis on specific aspects of the digital transition in Europe.
Opening this issue is an interview with Anders Geertsen, who, in his dual role as Director of Distribution with the Danish Film Institute and Director of the commercial module at the European Digital Cinema Forum, spoke at the seminar held at CEI on 26 June 2006.
As regards theatres, the issue gives voice to two protagonists of different sorts of experiences. In one case there is the “lesson” learned from a private company – Nordisk Film – which has been a pioneer in the adoption of digital projectors in Europe. In the other, in the words of Fiona Deans, our guest in the column “Women in Digital”, public intervention is highlighted – that of the UK Film Council, aiming to launch the first national digital circuit – and its prospects for development. Readers who would like to know more about these two topics will find the presentations given during the 2006 edition of the course “DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for European Cinemas” on the webpage .
As regards the companies concerned with technology which offer products and services for digital cinema, there are a story on Éclair Digital Cinema and news announced at CEI by Barco, Cinemeccanica and XDC.
And finally, fresh off the press, the announcement of the new Board of Edcf, elected this very day, 29 June, in Amsterdam, to which MEDIA Salles wishes all the very best for its future work.


A change at the top: Jens Rykær back at the helm of MEDIA Salles

Jens Rykær, from Denmark, a past President of MEDIA Salles from 2001 to 2004, returns to the helm of the Association. At the meeting in Cannes, held on 24 May, the Committee appointed another member as Vice President, Walter Vacchino (also Vice President of Anec, Italy), responsible for relations with the Italian Government.
This is how Jens Rykaer voices the questions that exhibitors are asking themselves as they face the digital changeover: “a large scale implementation of digital technology in cinemas worldwide is still a somewhat distant vision. The questions of standards, security and distribution strategy are still discussed, but the overall challenge for cinema owners is of course economy. The investment in D-Cinema is – as we know – costly and – quite honestly – the bottom line is, what’s in it for cinemas and their clients? Other segments, will benefit very much from the switch whereas cinemas “just” face expenses. Investment plans that make sense and that would be manageable, especially for small and middle-sized operators: this is what we need to have very soon, before other players in the marketplace enforce their will”.


Fiona Deans
Director of Digital Cinema, Arts Alliance Media, UK

I joined Arts Alliance Media (AAM) in September 2002 and am currently Director of Digital Cinema, responsible for the growth and operations of the digital cinema business in the UK and Europe. In particular I head up the rollout and operation of the UK Film Council’s Digital Screen Network, Europe’s largest 2k digital cinema network.
AAM is Europe’s largest digital cinema services provider, with seamless end to end digital cinema solutions encompassing equipment selection and integration, operator training, installation and support, and content management and delivery.
In February 2005, we were selected to rollout the UK Film Council’s Digital Screen Network (DSN), a $20m contract.

(click here to see the whole article)

We must go digital
Interview with Anders Geertsen
By Maria Vittoria Gatti

Anders Geertsen, director of distribution at the Danish Film Institute and director of the commercial module at the European Digital Cinema Forum, was one of the speakers at the session entitled “Tackling Digital Cinema Head On: Its Impact On The Landscape of European Exhibition and Distribution” at CEI on 26 June 2006.
He is not fond of the term “roll-out” and believes that Europe should pay for the transition to digital. Why? Because “we Europeans, should not lose control of our own exhibition sector”. Not only the large chains but small exhibitors, too, should keep control of their theatres which, otherwise, would even run the risk of closing down. We asked him a few questions to find out why, how to avoid this risk and how to come up with a “European path” to digital.

(Click here to read the entire article)

Announced at CEI 2006:

The new members of the Board      


XDC adds 20 Barco 2k digital cinema projectors to its European roll out
Barco premieres dedicated digital cinema projector for post production
Barco and Dadi Digital Cinemas sign historic agreement for large scale digital cinema deployment in China


Cinemeccanica Digital Division signs a dealership agreement with Film Ton Technik


XDC and Senator Films are presenting Hard Candy in dual languages on Digital Cinema

XDC closes its second round financing and raises 12.5 million EUR to leverage its early stage leadership position


Building the Network
The experience of Nordisk Film Cinemas (DK)
by Jan Petersen

Nordisk Film Cinemas was founded in 1915 as a subsidiary of Nordisk Film, the oldest movie production company still in operation, with divisions spanning all the areas of the movie’s life cycle. Nowadays Nordisk Film Cinemas is the largest cinema chain in Denmark, with a market share of 42%.
They started installing the digital equipment in August 2004 with the first three screens. At the end of 2004, 7 feature films were digitally screened, including the first Danish digital release. And in 2006 they were the only place outside the United States to obtain Ice Age 2 in digital format. This, explained Jan Petersen, IT Manager of Nordisk Film Cinemas, during the MEDIA Salles course that held in Kuurne last April, was possible because “we talked to the right people, we have the right equipment and we therefore got the movie. Building the network is essential”.

Click here to read the whole of Jan Petersen’s talk at the MEDIA Salles course “DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for European Cinemas”.


Digital screens in the United Kingdom as at 31/12/2005:
31 projectors DLP CinemaTM

Éclair Digital Cinema and the JPEG2000 format

The first European full-length feature to have used the JPEG2000 compression format is the French film Les Bronzés 3, amis pour la vie, presented at the last IDIFF in Cannes by Éclair Digital Cinema.
According to Gwendal Auffret, the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, the films that should benefit from the higher quality guaranteed by the JPEG2000 format should be not only American films but also those produced in Europe, ensuring that audiences receive better sound and vision and distributors better security as regards contents.
Launched last year in October 2005, Éclair Digital Cinema – a spin-off of the Éclair Group, fortified by its wide experience in post-production – is the first laboratory in Europe to have as its objective the circulation of Digital Cinema Packages (DCPs) conforming to DCI specifications amongst film distributors.
On the exhibition front, Éclair Digital Cinema has chosen to collaborate with Doremi Cinema Servers, so that they are in a position to provide theatres wishing to project films in JPEG2000 format with a complete service.
The first chain to turn to Éclair Digital Cinema was Nordisk Film, with the aim of upgrading its own digital screens from the MPEG2 format to JPEG2000. For the moment this upgrading regards the screens of the Palads and the Imperial (the largest venue in Scandinavia with 1,100 seats), in Copenhagen, and the BioCity, in Aarhus.
The upgrading of its digital projection systems has allowed Nordisk Film to share with Twentieth Century Fox the boast of being the first to internationally distribute a digital film in the new JPEG2000 format. This was a dubbed version, with another carrying Danish subtitles, of Ice Age 2 prepared and distributed by Deluxe in conjunction with Éclair Digital Cinema.