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

  International Edition No. 33 - year 3 - 11 April 2008


The second day of the course "DigiTraining Plus 2008: European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies", which began in London on 9 April, dealt mainly with getting to know the development pattern of digital projection based on public financing managed by the UK Film Council, with resources deriving from the National Lottery.
Today around 240 screens throughout the United Kingdom have been equipped with projectors using DLP Cinema technology, and the relative servers, thanks to the UK Film Council which has covered the costs of the equipment.
Course participants visited two of the cinemas belonging to the Digital Screen Network in London: the Curzon Soho and the ICA - Institute of Contemporary Arts, which hosted the sessions led by Alex Stolz, representing the UK Film Council, and Fiona Deans, of Arts Alliance Media, the organization that managed the installation of the digital systems.
However, public intervention in Britain has not been limited to exhibition alone: it has also affected distribution, with the intention of creating the practical conditions for diversifying offer, for example by increasing the number of foreign-language films and those of cultural interest.
The effectiveness of this strategy was confirmed by Anna Godas, of Dogwoof Pictures, and Sara Frain, of Metrodome, two distribution companies that has used the so-called "fast track" for accessing contributions from the UK Film Council towards facilitating digital distribution.
Also of significance is the case of “The Counterfeiters” – winner of the 2008 Oscar in the category of foreign films – which, purchased by Metrodome in Berlin in 2007, has reached 320 British cinemas, thanks to around fifty copies of which a little over half are in digital format.
Digital distribution helps “specialty” films to reach a larger audience, not only in big cities but also in small and medium-sized ones.
Moreover, in Anna Godas’ words, it helps to “think digitally” and, as confirmed by Sara Frain, to enter into a new perspective, that of more flexible and dynamic programming, that is more attentive to the demands of audiences with different characteristics and interests.

(click here to see the course programme)

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MEDIA Salles, a project operating within the framework of the European Union's MEDIA Programme, with the support of the Italian Government, fosters theatrical distribution of European audiovisual products, both by high profile campaigns involving Europe's cinema exhibitors and by initiatives to raise the visibility of European productions with industry players and potential audiences, creating specialized information channels on a global scale. Thus the current initiatives from MEDIA Salles dovetail in a program with a triple focus – training, promotion and information – and maximum combined effect.