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

International Edition No. 167 - year 15 - 17 July 2020

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MEDIA Salles is offering in a glimpse the first comprehensive info about cinema-going during the pandemic, thanks to the collaboration of national and int'l bodies, institutions, companies and professionals from the various European countries.

This map shows:

- The dates of the beginning and the end of the cinema lockdown.
Please click on the turquoise button.

- The opening or reopening of drive-in cinemas.
Please click on the fuchsia button.

"C'est vraiment une invention épatante, le cinématographe!!!".

Raymond Queneau, "Les œuvres complètes de Sally Mara", L'Imaginaire – Gallimard,
 Mesnil-sur-l'Estrée, France, 2003


© copyright MEDIA Salles



The Covid 19 pandemic has a had a strong impact on the cinema industry, deeply affecting and modifying the way of cinema consumption.

While investigating cinema-going in the time of the pandemic, MEDIA Salles is also offering a view on the other aspects of the cinema industry, thanks to the collaboration of other organizations and especially of the European Audiovisual Observatory.

The European Audiovisual Observatory organized a very interesting  live expert chat at this year's Cannes Marché du Film online: you can watch the video here.

This issue of the DGT online informer is also hosting the contribution of EuroVod to the ongoing debate on the state and perspectives of the cinema industry at the time of the Covid 19 crisis.

Covid impact on EUROVOD VoD services
by Silvia Cibien

eurovodEuroVoD, the association of European VoD platforms, is producing a detailed report that will be ready by September about Covid impact on its members.

In the meantime, since April we have been collecting feedback and data about the Covid impact on our business and on future perspectives.

First outcomes

The consumer appetite for online film has become clear in the coronavirus crisis but a distinction needs to be made between the dominating US tech giants and the independent European sector.

Needless to say, the pandemic accelerated the increase in online traffic and in consumption of content.

If we compare it with March 2019, paid transactions increased fourfold on average, from +15% to +1,000% (so x 10 times), depending of course on the type of offer, company, territories etc.

The increase in online consumption is good news not only because smaller platforms have always struggled to find a sustainable business model in a very competitive and highly concentrated digital economy, but also because our platforms have an average of 78% EU films in their aggregated catalogues, and most of our platforms have a revenue share business model, with an average of 50% for the rights holders.

There is growing recognition that online viewing can increase access to new, diverse and challenging work, whose theatrical release might have been extremely limited. 

I should like to recall that EuroVoD platforms are not just technical commodities, but are strongly editorialized offers with different identities, and among our members there are also cinema owners, who have survived the crisis thanks to the VOD offer and day-and date cinema/ VoD releases, like for instance TriArt Film in Sweden or Kino Pasaka / in Lithuania. Some of our members are also distributors or broadcasters, like OutTV, so the Covid crisis has touched them differently, especially when VoD is not the main source of income.

EuroVoD players had to face a sudden and massive overload in traffic and usage. As a consequence, our members had to rethink their mode of operation and make important technical investments in order to meet the high demand and to respond to the high expectations coming from cultural players (rights holders, cinemas, festivals…).

Most of our platforms have received urgent requests from film festivals and cinemas to find alternatives to the public venues that were closed down. Rights holders were very cooperative in lowering the price of films and offering promotions to the audience - on average, in March 2020 85% of our members took B2C promotional actions, as can be seen on our website:

This period has shown the capacity of fruitful cooperation in the chain of rights, especially among local actors, with initiatives that can be repeated in the future. Therefore, EuroVoD platforms are working with and wish to strengthen relationships with cinemas and festivals. The lockdown has offered examples of mutual support in the common interest of European film and culture.

The evidence from members is that people experiment more online (particularly SVOD) with their choice of film than they do in cinemas. Diversity needs diverse channels. What we saw is a massive interest in arthouse, classics and European films, taking in an indie or a specialist service alongside the bigger names. This is promising for the sector.

They did not go to the FAANGs to get to their audience but contacted local and European online distributors, because of our capacity to reach targeted audiences that are looking for alternatives to mainstream content, and are sensitive to arthouse, European and quality content channeled by European festivals, cinemas and distributors.


In our opinion, the most important thing is that the Covid crisis does not block the flow of releases or at least, that the smaller distributors, cinemas and festivals have other options to ensure some revenue. European editorialized platforms can play a very important role in the chain of value, and also politically, bringing European culture to its citizens during this crisis and beyond.

European production numbers have been increasing dramatically over the last 15 years, rising even during an economic crash. Much of that increase has come from public funding (if France is taken out of the equation, more than 40% of a film’s production cost comes from public funding). Meanwhile the number of screens and cinemas has been largely static. We encourage movie theatres not only to reopen, but even to multiply, because the lack of cinemas in Europe is a serious problem for the whole sector and for society in general. Nevertheless, nowadays especially, with the present situation of the pandemic still affecting us, European films can only reach audiences through online channels.

Until now, platforms have often been perceived as a disrupting problem, instead of integrating this new distribution tool as part of the solutions and the evolution of the industry, especially when we think about the diversity of channels and editorialized offers in Europe. Now this process has accelerated, underlining the weaknesses of the system where US tech giants are reaching the general audience as never before. We have a lot to learn from their audience oriented approach, nevertheless we need diversity of channels, approaches and content and we need to build a working ecosystem based on cooperation and collaboration, not protectionism.

European platforms can become the tool that enables the continuity of the European audiovisual industry and we have to thank the European Commission that has been helping European VOD SME’s platforms to grow and take risks for around 10 years now.

There is clearly potential for sustainable growth, especially in areas such as AVOD, as well as SVOD. This market is growing and will continue to develop, and that growth should not be left to FAANGs only. Europe needs to support R&D (research and experimental development) in these areas.

Moreover, VOD offers the best hope for exporting European cultural diversity. International relationships are being built and can help remedy the longstanding weaknesses of European film export.



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.

As anticipated, we host here a focus on IL KINO, one of the Kiez Kinos mentioned in DGT no. 166

by Elisabetta Galeffi

No. of screens
No. of digital screens
NEC NC900C DLP Cinema Projector 2K

An Italian Movie Theatre in Berlin
District of Neukoelln: the name derives from Koelln, the settlement on the tiny island in the Spree which in the fourteenth century joined the old centre of Berlin on the north-east bank of the river, bringing to life the original nucleus of the German capital.

Our cinema is here in the south of Berlin.
Years ago, the Italian singer Giovanni Lindo Ferretti dedicated a song to it, entitled Neukoelln, which began like this: “Non c’è futuro, inconsistente ora, non c’è passato che significhi ancora, niente che valga il buio del presente, il buio del presente….” (There is no future, still insubstantial, there is no past with a meaning yet, nothing worth the darkness of the present, the darkness of the present…)

Until a short time ago Neukoelln was considered a dangerous part of Berlin. Today, because of the low rents, it’s a bohemian neighbourhood of artists who have found the ideal place to live, at the pace of a provincial town: little shops, small restaurants and crowds of people on bikes in the streets, which are narrow by Berlin’s standards, as well as a few rows of residential homes in three- or four-floor, middle-sized buildings.

It’s the area with the highest rate of Turkish immigration in Berlin, where the city’s most important mosque is still to be found, and where, for example, one of Germany’s most popular TV series: Türkisch für Anfänger , “Kebab for Breakfast”, was shot from 2006 onwards.

The discovery of Il KINO, right on the banks of the canal, in the peaceful, fashionable part of Neukoelln, where today restaurants like those of the Parisian rive gauche are to be found, and people defy the freezing cold and the terrible Berlin wind to have their supper at little tables outside, like a déjeuner sur l’herbe, proves that Berlin continues to be a young and dynamic city that is constantly changing.
“Il KINO”, a name inspired by the homonymous theatre in Rome’s Pigneto neighbourhood, is a bar and a meeting place, not only a cinema. Before entering the little auditorium, the counter in the roomy bar area doubles as ticket office for the cinema.

Here the tables offer elbowroom for a chat or for a quick sandwich, some cheese, a vegan snack and above all Italian specialities and wines. At times, an authentic Italian “tricolour’ buffet is organized. As well as the entrance area, there is a smokers’ room, also with bar and bistrot service.

Carla Molino, who was born in Catania, grew up in Rome and now has a life in Berlin, admits: “It was my passion for the cinema that inspired me to open a cinema in Berlin. And that’s how, rather by chance, IL KINO opened on 1 November 2014.”

Carla lives nearby with her family and her life moves between home and cinema. “I’ll be back directly!” she calls out to me as she makes off for home, inviting me to get to know her cinema - small and shabby-chic, with brick walls and seating for fifty only.

At the moment Ken Loach’s Sorry, we missed you is showing at the 4.45 p.m. screening: the little velvet armchairs are extremely comfortable and, despite being small, the auditorium offers excellent acoustics and a perfect view of the screen, even though I’m sitting in the back row. The fairly numerous spectators are highly attentive - a classical art-house audience.

Their numbers increase for the 7 p.m. screening of Little Women.

IL KINO’s offer focuses on international quality cinema, with one extra feature: here productions by and about the Bel Paese find their natural habitat in Berlin. For example Walking on Water, the evocative and fascinating US/Italian co-production on the installation of floating piers by Christo on Lake Iseo, is now being advertised on the posters.

Italian films take pride of place thanks to the monthly series entitled IL KINO ITALIA, which shows pre-screenings of Italian films, both fiction and documentaries, often with a key figure from the world of cinema present at the screening.

(Per leggere il testo in italiano cliccare qui)


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