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

  International Edition No. 105 - year 9 - 16 May 2014

Special issue on the occasion of the 67th Cannes Film Festival


Dear readers,

here we are back in Cannes for our usual appointment, devoted once again this year to the meeting with all those who follow our work, taking part in and contributing to its success. At the Festival we shall be presenting the 2014 edition of the course DigiTrainingPlus, which, thanks to our partnership with the FFF and MFG and the cooperation of ARRI, will take place in Germany, one of the most interesting countries from the point of view of the new technologies.

DigiTraining Plus came into being at the dawn of what was to become the digital revolution, but has succeeded in adapting constantly to accompany European players in the cinema industry in a process that does not regard technical issues only. The changes linked to digitalization affect more or less all aspects of a cinema's life, from management to programming, from marketing to public relations. But although the shift to digital projection regards over 85% of European screens now, we at MEDIA Salles continue to keep a careful eye on the need for no screen to be excluded. This is why I take great pleasure in presenting both the most detailed and up-to-date snapshot of Europe as it goes digital, and the story (with a happy ending) of a small cinema, of the kind that does not weigh much in global statistics but continues to give visibility to a variety of films that otherwise run the risk of not having access to the big screen; this cinema has just made the change to digital thanks to public support and, to a great extent, to the involvement of its audiences. We trust that it will be an example for many others!

Luigi Grispello

(Per leggere il testo in italiano cliccare qui)

Two occasions to join MEDIA Salles at the 67th Cannes Film Festival

  • 17 May, 10.00 a.m.: during "Bits & Bites of Creative Europe", organized by Creative Europe Desk Italy - Media Offices of Rome and Turin with Istituto Luce Cinecittà at the Italian Pavilion (Int'l Village no. 131). Cliccare qui per maggiori informazioni
  • 19 May, from 11.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m.: the traditional MEDIA Salles gathering at Cannes Film Festival will take place this year at the Italian Pavilion. Join us for an Italian "wine and cheese" reception, to know more about the 2014 training course and get your copy of the latest DiGiTalk. To register for the event, please send an email to

MEDIA Salles will present the eleventh edition of "DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for the European Cinemas of the Future", to be held in Munich and Lake Constance from 9 to 13 July with the partnership of MFG Baden Württemberg and FFF Bayern and the collaboration of ARRI.

The eleventh edition of the
"DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for the
European Cinemas of the Future"

course will take place
in Munich and Lake Constance (Germany)
from 9 to 13 July 2014

Further information is published on our website, at the page dedicated to the course:

While in Cannes pick up your copy of the latest DiGiTalk at the MEDIA Salles events or at the booth of ARRI Worldsales, Lérins S9.
ARRI is a partner of DiGiTraining Plus.
From the latest MEDIA Salles Statistics
More than 85% of screens in Europe are digital

© copyright MEDIA Salles

© copyright MEDIA Salles

by Elisabetta Brunella

The process of digitalization in cinemas, albeit with considerable differences from territory to territory, is reaching its final phase and the so-called "switch-off" for traditional film appears to be imminent. But which cinemas have not yet converted to the new technology? And why? This column has been opened to find answers to these questions, presenting portraits of cinemas in Europe that have not yet digitalized or that are still looking for a way to deal with the shift.

No. of screens
No. of seats
Zebra Kino

Zebra Kino - Constance

I shall say right from the start that this is a story with a happy ending: until a few days ago, the Zebra was not digitalized and now it is. Its "pathway to digital" is rather unusual and this is exactly why it is worth describing, partly because it may serve as an example for other theatres that fear they will not be able to jump the gap to the new technologies.

But let's begin at the beginning. In the '80s a group of students from Constance University started to screen films in an apartment. The initiative took root to the extent that its promoters decided to look for somewhere to open a proper cinema.

They found the place in a quite unusual building: a former army barracks for the French, where they had stayed quartered in Constance well after the end of the Second World War.

5 May 1984 is thus the date of birth of the Zebra, a single-screen cinema seating approximately ninety people, which, with the support of the Municipality of Constance, offers two screenings a day, with a children's show on Sundays.

Its programming, decided on a monthly basis by a group of cinema lovers consisting mainly of volunteers, makes room for young directors and experimental cinema. This is how the Zebra complements the offer of cinema in Constance, with its large cinema-going population, where a multiplex screens mainstream films and a central, three-screen cinema offers arthouse movies.

Together with this "courageous" programming, particularly appreciated by university students and the inhabitants of the neighbourhood where the cinema is situated - an "alternative" area, where people prefer using bicycles to cars and tend towards a "niche" rather than a mass consumer style, the Zebra offers special events, such as the screening of concerts, either recorded or transformed into films, and a flourishing series of festivals and film weeks.

On 17 April, at the end of a festival, the Zebra closed its doors to begin the work necessary for ferrying the projection room into the digital age, starting by putting down adhesive tape to mark the exact spot on the floor where a brand new Sony 4K projector is to be installed. The choice was dictated by the need to provide quality screening even in the first few rows close to the screen.

The investment - a big one for a cinema like the Zebra that is anything but commercial and depends on a combination of salaried and volunteer work - was made possible by public financing (16,550 euros from the Constance Municipality and 8,250 euros from MFG, the cinema fund of Baden Württemberg), to which the Zebra managed to add a healthy 20,000 euros (i.e. almost 45% of the total) collected through crowdfunding. Whilst "crowdfunding" is just another word for many people, for the Zebra it has become a resounding reality. If so many private citizens and a good number of business companies have decided to support the campaign launched by the Zebra - perhaps just in exchange for having their name on the thank-you list - there is a good reason: in the thirty years it has been operating, this cinema has managed to create a community of spectators/supporters who think that at least a little bit of the cinema belongs to them, too. To find out how the Zebra managed to carry off this feat, the DigiTraining 2014 course provides a good opportunity: a session will be devoted to the case of this precise theatre which, on 5 May, celebrated its thirtieth anniversary by entering the digital age. Thanks also to the involvement of its audiences!

(Per leggere il testo in italiano cliccare qui)

Zebra Kino will be visited during DigiTraining Plus 2014
Please join our online questionnaire at
Your data will contribute to MEDIA Salles "International Database of Digital Cinemas"
After registering with an individual password for his/her protection,
each exhibitor will be able to enter the data regarding his/her own cinemas.
The questionnaire is designed to make the compilation extremely quick and error-proof.
The data registered can only be consulted by MEDIA Salles for statistical use and each company will be able to view ad edit its own data.

MEDIA Salles' contacts and address

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