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

  International Edition No. 53 - year 5 - 11 February 2010


Dear readers,

it is time to turn that important diary note into a firm booking: “DigiTraining Plus 2010” in Helsinki from February 17 to 21 is rapidly approaching, and it will be my pleasure to welcome you to the land of the Northern Lights on behalf of our President Jens Rykaer and the MEDIA Salles Executive Committee.

We have joined forces with The Finnish Film Foundation and The Finnish Chamber of Films to construct a course exploring the programming issues for a digitally equipped cinema and the extra uses for this equipment open to exhibitors.

Does this equipment make down time in cinemas into a profitable time? What is “alternative content” and where does it come from? How is it received? What is an “integrator” and what can it do for me?

We have all seen the huge figures for Avatar 3D worldwide: is it a one-way trip to Pandora or is it the start of a new fantastic journey for us all?

All these questions and many more will be answered in Helsinki: thick coats, boots, woolly hats and gloves essential…that sounds like the UK in the past few weeks, but we only experience that weather every 25 years or so!

Mike Vickers
Treasurer of MEDIA Salles

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To the participants at the “DigiTraining Plus: European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies” 2010 course

Dear friends,

digital cinema is a topic which has been discussed by cinemas for over 10 years but there are still no simple answers to the many questions that arise. Some cinemas have installed digital projectors and recent 3D films demonstrated one reason for doing so. The technology has proved itself but justifying the substantial financial investment needed remains a challenge, especially for small cinemas. The programme for this year's “DigiTraining Plus” course in Helsinki covers all the current issues and promises to be of great value to the very wide range of participants who will be there.
I was very pleased to be asked to be the Moderator for the course and will be doing my best to ensure everyone attending benefits from it. I greatly look forward to meeting you all.

Anthony Williams
Course Moderator

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Message from Kerstin Degerman, Head of the MEDIA Desk Finland

We are happy to welcome participants from all sectors to the “DigiTraining Plus” course in Helsinki in February 2010, both cinema owners and distributors and other professionals. During the days they spend in Helsinki the participants will have the possibility to get to know both the digital transition in general and its development in the region: there are presentations on both Finland and the Nordic countries, and Russia as well.

The first “DigiTraining Plus” course ever in Finland also offers a Studia Generalia on Thursday 18 February, in the morning, open to Finnish professionals and thus offering a possibility for the participants to meet the field more broadly. The American-based digital cinema expert Michael Karagosian will be talking about the structure and the contents of the digital cinema chain. Mr Karagosian has a vast experience in the cinema industry, and he will lecture on both the present situation and on future prospects for digital cinema in the world.

Finns are known to be very enthusiastic about new technologies and, accordingly, many Finnish screens are digital already; for the moment there are 48 digital screens in Finland, and it is predicted that 25% of the screens will be digital by the end of 2010, thanks to help from domestic public support. The Finnish digital experts will generously share their knowledge on how the transition in Finland was carried out: among others Harri Ahokas, Head of Domestic Distribution at the Finnish Film Foundation, Tero Koistinen, CEO of the Finnish Chamber of Films, and Ari Saarinen, Technical Supervisor and Manager at Finnkino.

Dear participants, Helsinki is – at least for the moment – in the most beautiful winter shape ever; so there will be lots for you to explore also outside the theatres, and don’t forget to bring warm clothes and cameras!

See you soon

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Riitta Haapiainen
SES Auditorium Ltd

The Finnish Film Foundation is an independent foundation which is supervised by the Department for Cultural Policy in the Ministry of Education.
The Foundation´s task is to support and develop Finnish film production, distribution and exhibition. The Finnish Film Foundation owns SES Auditorium Kino K-13, the cinema which is located at the Foundation´s headquarters in Katajanokka, in Helsinki.
Kino K-13 serves the Finnish film producers, distributors and post production companies as a test cinema. We have many opening evenings, especially of short and documentary films and television productions. We hold screenings of children´s films and film cultural events. Our cinema can also be rented and used as a meeting and congress facility.
Kino K-13 was renovated in 2008. It was given a real face lift: we changed the 1980 pink style to dramatic black and grey. Our new look was designed by architect Heikki Lamusuo and artist Jaana Partanen.
The same year, 2008, we also installed the digital projector into our booth, the 16mm film projector had to go. However, the 35mm projector Cinemeccanica, Victoria 5, is still beside the new digital one, although in our cinema the digital equipment is already working more hours than the film projector.
The digital projector we have is a Barco 1500 and the server store and player are Dolby`s DSS 100 and DSP 100. Just one week ago we got our XpanD 3D system.

Something about myself: I have been working in the cinema industry for a long time. I started my film work in the film lab, in the evenings I was selling tickets, coffee and candies in the cinema. I left the laboratory and found myself in the projection room, where I was very happy. I had, for example, the possibility to show 70mm film, and I felt like being on the top of my career … actually I still feel the same: that was the most challenging moment. This change to a digital system brings a whole different challenge: you don’t need muscles for lifting the hard disks but knowing the data technology helps a lot. I took part in the “DigiTraining Plus” course in 2007 and it was very important to gain knowledge from the experts and meet colleagues who already had some experience of the new technology.
Here in the Finnish Film Foundation I started working in 2001, I am also the Managing Director of the Cinema, but deep in my heart I am a projectionist and very proud of my profession.

I myself and the Finnish Film Foundation warmly welcome “DigiTraining Plus 2010” course participants to our beautiful Helsinki.

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Dear participants to the “DigiTraining Plus 2010”,
we invite you to visit our “Advance News” section of the page of MEDIA Salles’ website dedicated to the course, where you’ll be able to find:

- the updated programme of the course
- helpful information about the contents, venues and how to organize your trip to Helsinki
- the updated section “Focus on the speakers”, offering information on the lecturers at the course.

A small piece of advice alongside your preparations: please do not forget to pack sturdy shoes for the still partly very icy and slippery sidewalks in Helsinki, and suitable winter clothing.

Participants at the 2010 edition of the “DigiTraining Plus” course will visit, among other venues, the National Audiovisual Archive of Finland (NAVA), where the 4K presentation and screening will be taking place, thanks to the collaboration of Sony, on Friday 19 February 2010.

The National Audiovisual Archive of Finland (NAVA) focuses on preserving the Finnish audiovisual heritage for posterity. NAVA's role as the safe-keeper and conservator of national film, television and radio content is defined by law and funded by the Finnish government.

NAVA has been committed to systematic film preservation work since 1972, at the time under its former name Finnish Film Archive (founded in 1957). The newest element of NAVA's functions, television and radio archiving, was initiated on 1st January 2008. Today the main bias of both of these challenging areas bends towards digitalization.

Not only does NAVA take excellent care of its domestic and foreign film collections, it also seeks to promote Finnish film heritage around the world by taking part in festivals and other cultural happenings. NAVA's annual exhibitions, dvd and print publications and active domestic screening programs create a unique whole unmatched by any other museum or archive in Finland.

Mikko Kuutti, Deputy Director of NAVA

MEDIA Salles was present when the Sony CineAlta 4K system was installed at NAVA on November 1st 2009.

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What Digital Times?
By Tobias Jacobsen, participant at the ”DigiTraining Plus 2009”

Knowledge. A fundamental condition for making the right decisions must be based on an updated and solid knowledge of the subject. To achieve an overview of the consequences of the digitalisation of cinemas is a huge challenge. The business is a complex and ramified organism with many areas of interest and corresponding partners each with their own agenda. As digitalisation is an international change in a standard dating back more than 100 years the change of medium is a manoeuvre that calls for a certain respect and cautiousness. Much money is to be earned and also to be lost if you do not make the right decisions based on knowledge.

Without any solid knowledge of digital cinema and as a first-time participant on a course on this very subject, the following is my experience of the situation in general within the EU as it was reflected at the “DigiTraining Plus 2009” course in London.

To distinguish between 3D-technology and digitalisation as such is a necessity in order to introduce light and shade into the challenges facing the move to another medium. At present it is the 3D-locomotive that drives digitalisation and the chains which have a commercial interest seem to succeed in achieving this. But 3D alone is not enough to stimulate a change of medium for those cinemas that do not have a specific priority in positioning themselves in the marketplace or have an audience segment that fits into exactly this context. For them conventional 2D and its content is central. And even if many promises are made by those who hail 3D as the format of the future for any film, it is doubtful that this will happen in the near future – if ever. There are obvious possibilities but also limits in telling stories in 3D and only the future will show if 3D is as revolutionary as some predict.

Probably 3D will merely be an add-on and not the nucleus in a business model that will have to finance the heavy cost of digital equipment in the cinema. Certainly insecurity still remains as to realistic depreciation models which are central in order to relate to the eventual assets or disadvantages of the investment. Digital technologies become obsolete very fast in all other areas worldwide and there is no reason to believe that it should be any different in our business. Of course it is of prime importance whether today’s standards (DCI, SMPTE, NATO etc.) that have almost fallen into place after long and troubled negotiations will be changed. It is probably doubtful that anybody feels like shaking the foundation of today’s definition of digital cinema.

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DigiTraining Plus 2010: European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies
17 – 21 February 2010, Helsinki
Course programme
Wednesday, 17 February Thursday, 18 February Friday, 19 February Saturday, 20 February Sunday, 21 February


Breakfast at the Hotel

Breakfast at the Hotel

Breakfast at the Hotel

Breakfast at the Hotel

Individual arrivals to Helsinki

(before check-in time the hotel will keep the participants’ luggage in its luggage room)

8.45 am
Transfer to the Finnish Film Foundation Auditorium (walking distance from the Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka)

Open door session, in collaboration with the MEDIA Desk Finland:

9.00 am
Welcome message by Kerstin Degerman, MEDIA Desk Finland

9.10 am
Leena Laaksonen, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Education and Culture

9.40 am
Digital screens: how many and where?
by Elisabetta Brunella, Secretary General of MEDIA Salles

10.00 am
Coffee break

10.20 am
The digital cinema chain: “Year 11 and Still Talking About the Rollout”, presentation by Michael Karagosian, MKPE

11.35 am
Q&A session

12.00 pm
Focus on Russia
- Oleg Berezin, Managing Director of Nevafilm, Russia

12.30 pm
Q&A session

12.45 pm
End of the Open door session

Lunch for the course participants at the Finnish Film Foundation

8.30 am
Transfer by bus (from the hotel)

Significant experiences from Finland

9.10 am
arrival to Bio Grand

Visit to Bio Grand, Tikkurila – Presentation by Kimmo Lohman, Cinema Manager

10.15 am
departure from Bio Grand

Coffee break

11.00 am
Visit to Flamingo Cinema, Vantaa

“D-cinema: what cinema owners don’t know or normally forget to think about”: presentation by Ari Saarinen, Technical supervisor and Manager, Finnkino

12.15 pm
end of visit

Participants are free for lunch at the Flamingo Shopping Center

1.30 pm
departure from Flamingo Cinema

8.30 am
Transfer by bus (from the hotel)

Significant experiences from Finland

9.15 am
Visit to Biorex – Sello, Espoo

10.00 am
Demo 3D live
presented by Walter Munarini, OpenSky

10.45 am
Coffee Break

11.00 am
Presentation of “Digital Alfie” by Frauke Feuer, Peaceful Fish

11.30 am
Q&A session

12.00 pm
Participants are free for lunch at the Sello Shopping Center


8.45 am
Course evaluation

11.15 am
Course closure

12.00 pm
End of the course






Check in at the Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka and registration at the course

3.30 pm
Transfer to the Finnish Film Foundation Auditorium (at walking distance from the Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka)

Coffe and tea
Participants will be invited to fill in the pre-course questionnaire

Welcome speeches by the organisers and partners

4.00 pm
- Michael Vickers, Treasurer of MEDIA Salles

4.15 pm
- Irina Krohn, Head of the Finnish Film Foundation

4.30 pm
Digital cinemas in Finland: the state of art and the perspectives

- Tero Koistinen, CEO, Finnish Chamber of Films

5.00 pm
Presentation of the course structure, by Anthony Williams, Moderator of the course

5.30 pm
Who’s who at the course:
presentation of participants

6.45 pm
Return to the Hotel

2.00 pm
Business models – part 1: an overview by Michael Karagosian, MKPE

2.45 pm Q&A session

3.10 pm
The Scandinavian situation

Harri Ahokas, Head of Domestic Distribution, Finnish Film Foundation

- Ramon Reissmüller, Digitalt Projekt, Swedish Film Institute (Sweden)

- Rolv Gjestland, Adviser in cinema technology and design, Film & Kino (Norway)

- Jan Petersen, IT manager of Nordisk Film Biografer (Denmark)

4.20 pm
Q&A session

4.40 pm
Other experiences from Europe
- Daniel Hromadko, from BrickBox Digital Media, Czech Republic
- Marieke Jonker, Amstelfilm, The Netherlands
5.30 pm
Q&A session

5.45 pm
3D Digital screening and presentation by
Ami Dror, XpanD

6.30 pm
Q&A session

6.45 pm
End of session

At the Finnish Film Foundation Auditorium

2.30 pm
The digital transition seen from the side of distribution
Digitalisation: a chance for a wider choice offered to cinema spectators (session on contents: films and alternative contents) – part 1

Erik Hamre, Emerging Pictures, Denmark
Pilvi Burman, FS Film, Finland

Fabrice Testa, Vice President Sales & Business Development XDC

3.30 pm
Q&A session

3.45 pm
Coffee Break

4.00 pm
The role of integrators
- part 1:

Fabrice Testa, Vice President Sales & Business Development XDC

Screening of a selection of excerpts of European digital movies, with the collaboration of XDC

4.30 pm
Q&A session

4.45 pm
Transfer by bus to the National Audiovisual Archive (KAVA)

5.30 pm
4K screening introduced by Mikko Kuutti, Deputy Director of KAVA and Tore Mortensen, Sony Norge

6.30 pm
Return by bus to town centre - hotel

At the Finnish Film Foundation Auditorium

2.00 pm
Digitalisation: a chance for a wider choice offered to cinema spectators (session on contents: alternative contents) – part 2
Guillaume Thomine-Desmazures, Arts Alliance Media

2.20 pm
Q&A session

2.30 pm
Business models – part 2: an overview of public support for digitalisation in Europe by Jonathan Davis

3.45 pm
Q&A session

4.00 pm
The role of integrators
- part 2:
Guillaume Thomine-Desmazures, Arts Alliance Media

4.30 pm
Q&A session

4.40 pm
Cinema in 2020 – sneak peek into the future - Tommi Rissanen, Dicole

Final statements



8.30 pm
Opening dinner at Scandic Gran Marina Restaurant (at walking distance from the Best Western Premier Hotel Katajanokka)

Participants are free for Helsinki sightseeing and dinner

Participants are free for Helsinki sightseeing and dinner

Closing dinner


All different, all digital
by Elisabetta Brunella

This column hosts portraits of cinemas in Europe and the rest of the world which are quite different from one another but have in common the fact that they have all adopted digital projection.

Number of projectors
Everyman Hampstead


Great Britain – they say – is the homeland of US-imported multiplexes: another 216 complexes with at least 8 screens have arrived, following the ground-breaking Milton Keynes in 1984, for a total of 2,382* screens – that is, around 66% of the country’s total screens, the highest density in Europe.
But the English cinemagoer does not live by multiplexes alone nowadays, at least not the Londoner. Indeed, it’s considered very trendy to visit minimum-luxury cinemas like the Everyman in Hampstead, the affluent little hill where fashionable restaurants – often Italian – alternate with metropolitan-styled shops – the latter often Italian, too.
The first of a small circuit (a total of 13 screens, 6 of which in London) – but with a promising growth rate – the Everyman Hampstead comprises 2 theatres derived from a building of singular architectural design: a Thirties dance-hall, with its metal structure, converted into a theatre (Helen Mirren is amongst the stars who have trodden the boards there) and then into a niche cinema.
“Today the cinema is mainly a landmark for customers who live in the neighbourhood but also for demanding spectators who will even come quite a distance on the tube, thanks to the Northern Line station which is only a few steps away,” says Dara Gilroy, the young manager, whilst supervising a busy restaurant service on a special Saturday. Because this evening at the Everyman - in the main theatre – there is live opera from New York. Bizet’s Carmen was also sold out, as always. This is one of the main uses made of the digital equipment that the Everyman has fitted itself out with since 2008: alongside the Cinemeccanica analog projector a digital Nec has appeared, installed by Doremi. “We use it of course,” continues Dara, “for films distributed in digital format, which may be the releases of the moment, like “Star Trek” or “Nine”, but also for classics restored to a new lease of life, such as “It’s a Wonderful Life”, as well as for alternative content, ranging from music events and ballets to sport, mainly tennis and football. This allows us to address a fairly wide variety of audiences. In addition, we have a small theatre that is hired out for private events only: here we show DVDs and Blue Ray chosen by the client, after having purchased the public performance rights.”
The audience that treats itself to the Met live – and this has to be secured by careful programming, since it must be booked 6 months beforehand and, although more reasonable than the Royal Opera House, nevertheless costs 35/40 pounds - is more mature than its cinema-going counterpart.
But whether music-loving, a sports-fan or a film buff, the “typical” Everyman spectator particularly appreciates the quality of entertainment and the VIP service, guaranteed by the team of waiters who are quick to offer international delicacies in the three sectors of seats, all fitted with tables. Whether they choose the “Club Gallery” which ensures the best viewing and also offers sofas for two, or the stalls seat with the foot rest, the Everyman’s customers are rather special. Cosmopolitan, moving just as effortlessly between subtitled films from all over the world, like “Un Prophète” or “Ponyo”, and a menu ranging from Sicily’s Nero d’Avola to the Australian Pink Moscato. They don’t even turn a hair when ordering the olives to accompany the aperitif and asked to choose between the early-harvested “Nocellara del Belice” and the pitted “Kalamatas”.
Anyone who thought that cinema had to rhyme with popcorn, should freshen up their ideas. Obviously the Everyman is popcorn-free!

* Source: MEDIA Salles, as at 1st January 2009

Everyman Media Group Cinemas in the UK

Cinema Name


Total no.
of screens

Everyman Hampstead

5 Holly Bush Vale, Hampstead, London NW3 6TX


Everyman Belsize Park

203 Haverstock Hill, London NW3 4QG


Everyman Baker St

96-98 Baker Street, London W1U 6TJ


Everyman Screen on the Green

83 Upper Street, London N1 0NP


Everyman Oxted

7 Station Road West, Oxted, Surrey RH8 9EE


Everyman Reigate

Bancroft Road, Reigate, Surrey RH2 7RP


Everyman Walton

85-89 High Street, Walton On Thames KT12 1DN


Everyman Winchester

Southgate Street, Winchester SO23 9EG



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The MEDIA Salles statistics on digitalisation worldwide

News on the development of digitalisation in the world
by Marcello Mazzucotelli

Arts Alliance Media reaches agreement with Denmark Digital on the digitalization of 60 screens

The integrator Arts Alliance Media has just announced that a 6.7 million euro agreement has been reached with Denmark Digital, a group of 31 independent cinemas, on the digitalization of around 60 Danish screens. Thanks to existing agreements with 5 Hollywood majors, Arts Alliance Media and Denmark Digital will attempt to involve Danish distributors in the agreement also. Together the two parties will choose the equipment – all 3D-compatible – and the rollout will begin shortly, partly in order to benefit from up and coming 3D releases, including How to Train Your Dragon and Shrek Forever After. The agreement also foresees the possibility for all 31 cinemas to install equipment for the broadcasting of alternative content via satellite, thanks to Arqiva, partner of Arts Alliance Media.

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A new project networking 100 digital cinemas
presented at SAT Expo Europe

The “Progetto 100 sale in rete” (“100 Cinemas Networking Project”), promoted in Italy by the General Direction for the Cinema at the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, with the collaboration of Eutelsat, was presented in Rome on 4 February at SAT Expo Europe. The objective of the initiative is to establish a wide-ranging chain of digital cinemas using satellite projection for screening not only cinema content but also events.
Paolo Dalla Chiara, President of SAT Expo Europe stated: “This project is an opportunity to start networking and focus on innovation in the cinema sector. By fitting an antenna and a satellite receiver, cinemas will be able to offer films and live events, in 3D, too. By creating this real programming framework they will bring to life a multimedia network.”
Nicola Borrelli, General Director of DG Cinema, said: “By making it possible to measure the basic elements of digitalization in theatres on a real network, Progetto 100 sale in rete” will become the tool that lays the foundations for perfecting a “country plan” facilitating Italy’s transition to the application of the new technology in the cinema”.
Paolo Protti, President of ANEC, the Italian exhibitors’ association, whilst emphasising the commitment of theatres that have already invested in digital, argued the importance of the state in ensuring governance in this process of development.
A process which – according to Carlo Bernaschi, President of Anem, the association representing several multiplex operators – will have to take place rapidly, making it possible to digitalize 3,000 screens in the coming 2 years.
That a new phase has opened up in the conversion to digital – one which aims to identify economic models that include all cinemas – is demonstrated by the projects started in various countries and regions of Europe, as emerged from the talk by Elisabetta Brunella, Secretary General of MEDIA Salles, who also analyzed the statistical data photographing the situation of digitalization in Europe halfway through 2009 (2,602 screens) and the first figures available in January 2010, confirming an acceleration in the process.
Gianni Celata, from La Sapienza University of Rome, whilst presenting the directions that will be taken by research accompanying the development of “100 sale in rete”, highlighted the fact that the theatres are assuming the role of “catalyzing enzymes” in the digitalization of the entire cinema chain.

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MEDIA Salles’ contacts and address

MEDIA Salles
Piazza Luigi di Savoia, 24 – 20124 Milano - Italy
Tel.: +39.02.6739781 – Fax: +39.02.6690410
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