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

International Edition No. 185 - year 16 - 11 September 2021

Special issue on the occasion of the 78th Mostra Internazionale d'arte cinematografica
1 11 September 2021, Venice

 
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Dear Readers,

Paolo Protti the 2021 Venice Film Festival, ending today, has experienced greater affluence than the previous edition, from both industry players and audiences, proof of the desire to get back to normal and return to cinema on the big screen.
In addition, the excellent quality of the selections provided a moral incentive to lay the bases for a better future in cinema-going.
The presence of international stars was a further invitation to return to normality.
Nevertheless, it is undeniable that there remain concerns about the general situation of the pandemic and the consequent delays in many releases of films important for the market, which are being postponed to 2022.
A further setback comes from the ongoing restrictions, which act as an obstacle to audiences who wish to return to the cinema but react negatively to a combination of factors such as the green pass, obligatory masks and social distancing. It appears evident that under these conditions it is difficult to contrast the various offers coming from the increasingly aggressive digital platforms.
And yet movie theatres are amongst the venues that offer the best guarantees in terms of health safety and from many sides an urgent re-dimensioning of these restrictions is being demanded, to increase capacity and relax the wearing of masks during the screening of films.
In the hope that the movie theatre will once again become the natural habitat of films, I wish you happy reading,

Paolo Protti
President of MEDIA Salles


ADDED CONTENT, ADDED VALUE - THE TALK

Once again this year MEDIA Salles has organized new events regarding added content in the series The Talks.

There follows en excerpt of the Talk held online during the 78th Venice International Film in the context of the training course “Art Cinema = Action + Management” organized by the Cicae.























 

GREEN CINEMAS

Since some years, MEDIA Salles has been investigating best pratictes in cinema exhibition aimed at reducing the environmental impact. We think this is - more than ever - a key topic and we are glad inagurate in our newsletter a column dedicated to sustainability in the cinema sector: we hope it could be of inspiration for our readers, and invite you to contact us in case you want to share news and ideas on the subject.

Economic, ecological and energy-efficient: the Central Filmtheater in Ludwigsburg
by Birgit Heidsiek

The efficient use of energy and renewables offers opportunities for cinemas to cut costs. The energy consumption of cinemas has been tremendously increased due to the digitization of projection systems. Moreover, energy costs are expected to rise when carbon taxes come into effect. In order to make cinemas resilient and sustainably future-proof, investments that enable the efficient use of resources are economically and ecologically beneficial, because they reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.

According to the EU, buildings in the European Union are responsible for approximately 40 percent of energy consumption and 36 percent of carbon emissions. Cinemas often have large screening spaces that must either be heated or cooled. Besides thermal energy usage for heating and cooling, electric energy for ventilation systems is the second largest energy consumption category. To reduce the energy consumption of ventilation systems, HVAC systems with recuperators, which have become a mandatory requirement in the EU Ecodesign Directive, are now the state-of-the-art technology for a growing number of cinemas.

Apart from these huge investments, small measures can also make a big difference. Technological solutions, such as time switches, presence detectors, and light sensors can ensure that lights are switched on either automatically or on an as-needed basis. At the Central Filmtheater in Ludwigsburg in Southwest Germany, the display windows and neon signs are turned on and off by light sensors. This way, the display windows in the rear of the darkened courtyard are illuminated before those in the more brightly lit foreground area. ”The light sensors are adjusted with different sensitivities, so that different areas can be controlled according to the ambient brightness”, explains Claus Wollenschläger, owner and CEO of the 108-year-old, family-run Central Filmtheater, of which he is the fourth-generation proprietor. Furthermore, the light sensors he uses are timed so that the display windows are not illuminated all night long.

The neon signs are also attached to a system that controls eight areas in the cinema lobby and the courtyard. The exhibitor installed time switches and light sensors when the lobby of the cinema was completely renovated in 1994. ”When we redesigned the lobby, we also had an eye on the energy consumption of the lighting and the monitors”, says the exhibitor. The presence detector switches on the light only if the sensor detects a customer moving in the lobby. This way, the lobby lighting is often turned off during a two-hour screening, which saves energy. Even with these small measures, substantial energy-saving results can be achieved over the course of a year.

The office also offers various cost-saving possibilities. Computer screens, laser printers, wireless boilers, and coffee machines consume electrical energy whenever they draw power from the grid. Besides time switches and sensors, simple power strips with a central switcher can put an end to wasteful energy consumption. Unconsumed energy is the most cost-saving solution. It is also crucial to consider the sources of energy efficiency, because energy is climate-neutral only if it is 100-percent generated by renewables.

The Central Filmtheater in Ludwigsburg draws electrical energy from a photovoltaic system that was installed on its roof in 2018. ”This business model generates revenue. It reduced our monthly energy bill by 1,000 euros“, says the exhibitor, who has to pay 500 euros monthly for the lease as well as the fees for the photovoltaic system. “Renewable energy that isn’t consumed by the cinema is fed back into the grid, so it becomes an additional source of income. In 2020, the photovoltaic system generated in total 59,92 MWh. Cinemagoers can even review its performance at the entrance, where a real-time display shows how much solar power has been generated“.

WE'RE HAPPY TO SHARE ...
 

The Green Deal for European Cinemas

28. September 2021, 3 to 4.30 pm, online via Zoom
A conference by the network of Creative Europe Desks MEDIA and Birgit Heidsiek, FFA Green Cinema Officer

Climate protection in cinemas does not only take place on the screen!
At the  online conference The Green Deal for European Cinemas, cinema operators from various European countries present energy- and resource-saving solutions that pay off for both the box office and the climate.


WOMEN IN DIGITAL CINEMA

Alice Tentori
Sales Specialist, Digima
SAAV Co-Founder

Alice TentoriMy first memory of the cinema. Imagine: an 8-year-old girl at the Milan Odeon, sitting on top of the folding seat. Leaning forward with eyes wide open in front of that big screen, which really was big for her. Perhaps it was all that light that made me fall in love with the cinema, even though, for the most part it was thanks to my parents, both passionately keen on the art: my father, a cinematographer, was always filming with his videocamera and I had fun being his favourite subject; my mother took me to the local cinema every week with her friends, even when the films were for “grown-ups”.
When the time came to choose my studies, I didn’t have much doubt about it: Cultural Heritage Studies specialising in History of the Cinema, with a thesis in Animated Films, followed by the experience as Cast Member at Disneyland Resort, Paris.
Cinema was what I wanted to do. In 2004 I started to work in a multiplex with 14 screens just outside Milan: films still arrived on film and to get into the projection room you needed a projectionist’s licence. I still remember that at the examination held at the Fire Station I was the only girl out of about thirty participants but no-one could have stopped me. The years spent in the exhibition sector have taught me a lot: not only the work at the box-office, at the bar and in organisation and communications, but also and perhaps mainly customer relations, teamwork, management of the unforeseen and of unexpectedly high attendance.
A real university in the field.

Then came digital: between 2009 and 2010, propelled by 3D, Italy’s cinemas converted to the new technology. In those years Digima was one of the new players just entering the cinema market: the need to make the potential of the new technology known to exhibitors, the difficulty of supplying the machinery in years when digitisation was spreading like wildfire, the delivery dates parallel to release dates, were the most demanding challenges. We had a small team but one that was united and competent, as well as passionate both about cinema and about technology: I think this was our strong point, particularly acknowledged by the Space Cinema circuit, which entrusted us with the whole of its digital roll-out and subsequent assistance and maintenance.

Then, in 2012, came what I define “the great summons”: RealD, a leading American company in 3D cinema, chooses me as Country Manager for Italy. Since then the vision has broadened not only to digital 3D but also from Italy to Europe: a demanding adventure but a stimulating one, full of ups and downs, accompanied by an entertaining 3D such as that of animation (which, however, encountered resistance from some audience sectors due to the glasses), a highly successful 3D as in “Gravity“ or “Hugo Cabret and a 3D which was, on the other hand, disappointing, and which at times had a negative influence on the public’s perception of this technology.
Like all technological systems used in the cinema, 3D, too, is just a tool: “how to use it” is the most important aspect. Some directors are now in full harmony with the technology and have used it as a means for facilitating narration; in the same way, some exhibitors have realised the importance of a correct choice of technology and its proper installation and maintenance so as not to disappoint their audiences.
My team at RealD consisted mainly of women: together we developed sales and marketing strategies, organised events, filed contracts and agreed on payment. I could not have asked for better company on this journey of “Europeanisation” and a lot of the merit goes to Karina Neill, my London-based Cinema Director.
One last technological aspect that I have been able to explore over the past few years, this time in the field of postproduction, is that of accessibility. Subtitles for the hearing-impaired and audio descriptions for the visually impaired are generally added after the content has been elaborated and are most common on supports such as blu-ray and streaming platforms. Here the language and technology come together to allow the largest possible number of people to share the same experience of a film or TV series. So that culture really is for everyone, thanks also to the reasoned and positive use of technological applications.


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Edito da: MEDIA Salles - Reg. Trib.
Milano n. 418 dello 02/07/2007
 
 
Direttore responsabile:
Elisabetta Brunella
 
 
Coordinamento redazionale:
Silvia Mancini
 
 
Raccolta dati ed elaborazioni statistiche: Paola Bensi, Silvia Mancini