Reg. Trib. Milano n. 418 del 02.07.2007 - Direttore responsabile: Elisabetta Brunella
MEDIA Mibact

  International Edition No. 150 - year 14 - 5 February 2019

Special issue on the occasion of the 69th Berlin International Film Festival

more than 15,000 subscribers


Dear readers,

Prottithis issue of DGT Online Informer is our 150th. I am pleased to see that it is the first of the issues linked to the Berlinale to constitute this cornerstone. The Berlin Film Festival has always meant a great deal to MEDIA Salles, starting from the presentation of first edition of the European Cinema Yearbook in February 1993.
This year MEDIA Salles returns to the German capital with an initiative launched jointly with the German arthouse sector and focusing on added content. What our work in the Nineties and our work today has in common is our determination to respond to needs as yet unsatisfied in European cinema: at the time the need to assess the state of cinema-going in Europe's cinemas, today the need to understand the positive role that added content can play in developing the cinemas of the future.

We look forward to seeing you in Berlin on the 8 and 9 February.

Paolo Protti,

(Per leggere il testo in italiano cliccare qui)


Berlin, 9 February 2019

Meet the Quality Cinema community at the MEDIA Salles, AG Kino, Cicae Reception

From AG Kino - Gilde and MEDIA Salles a new initiative on added content at the Berlinale Screenings

For the first time the German art-house association AG Kino - Gilde, in collaboration with MEDIA Salles, will offer a slot for the presentation of added content and event cinema at the Hackesche Höfe Kino in Berlin Mitte, starting on February 8, 2019. The new initiative called "Added content = added value" will take place during the Berlinale Screenings that every year bring together about 500 cinema professionals from all over Germany.

(Per leggere il testo in italiano cliccare qui)


For some years now MEDIA Salles has been investigating a much discussed area but one whose demand for deeper knowledge remains unsatisfied: that of added content for the big screen. In other words, the role that cinemas can play in spreading the enjoyment of art, culture, sport and live entertainment and making them more popular. In addition to the collection of statistical data, the articles published in the various editions of DiGiTalk and the communications presented during cinema events Europewide, MEDIA Salles has recently launched a new column starting with a glimpse at the Russian market. In this issue the focus has moved to Germany.

In 2018 there was a drop in audience numbers in German cinemas, whilst the market for added content remained stable

It's one of the five leading markets in western Europe, yet, according to the figures already available, in 2018 it may only just have cleared one hundred million ticket sales, the conventional threshold separating the big five from other territories. We're talking about Germany which, after recording a total of about 122 million spectators in 2017, suffers a drop estimated at around 16%, well above the dips that have also marked Italy, France and Spain but from which the UK has escaped unharmed. Yet even on the German market there is one Thomas Schülkesector that didn't decrease in 2018: that of added content. Says Thomas Schülke, one of the greatest experts in this relatively new sector of the German cinema industry in which figures and information are still scarce: "Added content and event cinema knew a very important growth in 2017: the content available is on the increase, as well as the cinemas that offer it to their audiences. Exhibitors are becoming increasingly more open to this type of programming. They realize that added content makes it possible to reach new sectors of the general public and make the big screen more attractive on weekdays while producers – especially music producers - see cinemas as a new channel of distribution. I myself have experienced it over the past few days, when bringing to cinemas, together with Piece of Magic, an international success like André Rieu's New Year concert." This positive swing regards box office, too, which Schülke estimates as around 15 million euros. How much does it cost to watch added content on the big screen? "Opera or ballet generally cost about 25 euros, with peaks of over 30, whilst a pop music concert is round 15 euros. This means that the average ticket price comes to almost 16 euros. In other words, a little less than twice the average price for a film."

The content that has taken root in Germany up to now ranges from opera from the MET, distributed by Clasart, to ballet from the Bolshoi, which, together with the Comédie Française, is distributed by Kinostar. The role played by content originating in the UK is very important. Cinemaconsult, the company created by Schülke, deals with the distribution of productions by the Royal Opera House and the Royal Ballet working for Trafalgar Releasing, whilst, directly from England, Seventh Art distributes the art-based films produced by Exhibition on Screen thanks to collaboration with prestigious museums.

To Phil Grabsky, founder of EOS, the panorama of German cinema is interesting, though very demanding. As well as managing delivery, translation into German and marketing, the company deals with finding the cinemas (Germany has almost 5,000 screens) best suited to offering art-based content. "The German market is not easy," maintains Grabsky, "I can understand why several distributors avoid dealing with it. There is no guarantee of a return, whereas there are markets where added content can obtain better results like, for instance, Italy. Nevertheless, since Germany has a prestigious film culture and many movie theatres that focus on quality, I believe in working with a long-term perspective. This is why the German market continues to be one of the 63 territories on which we distribute our productions. We begin 2019 with five titles devoted to painting, starting with "Degas. Passion for Perfection" and we'll be continuing from 2019 to 2020 with four classical music productions".
The UK is also home to More2Screen, the company founded by Christine Costello in 2006, amongst the first to invest in added content, perceiving its potential for cinemas as they underwent the digital shift. In Germany Costello offers pop music and dance as well as theatre, ranging from a contemporary production such as the musical "Everybody's talking about Jamie" to "The Winter's Tale" from Shakespeare's Globe. Amongst its most faithful customers are Filmkunstkinos, a company that manages several art screens in Düsseldorf. Kalle Somnitz, one of the owners, believes that the opportunity to screen content of a cultural and artistic nature has been one of the most important novelties introduced by the digitization for cinemas that focus on quality. These cinemas are represented in Germany by AG Kino. Its Manager, Felix Bruder, tells us that in 2018 this sort of cinema suffered less from the dip in audiences. He estimates around -8%, as opposed to -16%. Could this also be the merit of the fine performance by added content? As yet, it is a little too soon to tell, since the final figures are still lacking, but it is certainly an idea to bear in mind.

This article was published in Cinema & Video Int’l, issue no. 1-2/2019

(Per leggere il testo in italiano cliccare qui)


Boglárka Nagy
International Confederation of Art Cinemas
Berlin - Germany

IBoglárka Nagy have been in love with cinemas ever since my teenage years. It was just too beautiful getting completely immersed in films. In time, working in a cinema I have learned that several things contribute to creating an environment that allows us to become part of a story or of a universe prepared by artists and technicians. That every movie selected and presented with care needs to be scheduled and promoted just as carefully; that the soundproofing of a venue is essential to hear every detail that a Dolby system can offer; and that calibrating the colours of a digital projector is paramount to conveying to the audience the beauty of what the filmmakers wanted to show.

Digital technology meant a lot of change for the exhibition sector: an important investment in equipment (funded in some countries, but not all), easier access to films (by accessing the screeners necessary for preparing programming but also because shipment is a lot easier for DCP-s), a wider range of available content – from movies to interactive films, theatre performances and opera, online booking systems and, in some cases even the curation of an online offer of movies that are not on the big screen anymore. Good exhibitors put much effort into offering the best possible experience to cinema-goers and use the digital means at hand in the service of the audience. They are key partners of filmmakers and festivals alike, of all the people working on bringing good films to the audience. And when I say audience, I’m referring to a group of people coming together, waiting impatiently for a screening to start, watching the film together and leaving the screening room marked to some extent by the experience. This essence cannot be quantified in statistical terms referring to “subscribers” or “views”, but will stay linked to a place where people gather with a common purpose.

Cinemas will soon go through a new wave of digitization. It will mean a new challenge for exhibitors, an important financial effort for the independent screens and an improvement in the quality of digital screening. But it will not change the essence of cinema – of which many of you will hopefully partake for many years to come.


MEDIA Salles
Piazza Luigi di Savoia, 24 - 20124 Milano - Italy
Tel.: +39.02.6739781 - Fax: +39.02.67397860