Country Focus: UK
UKDFG to be separate legal entity
by Naman Ramachandran
- The UK Digital Funding Group (UKDFG) will be set up as a separate legal entity, thereby allowing it to consolidate negotiations to attract revenue funding in the form of Virtual Print Fees.
The UKDFG was established in 2009 to negotiate financial support for small and medium-sized UK cinema operators to convert to digital cinema technology and comprises 500 independent screens. These cinemas will become shareholders in the new company, which will be owned and run by the exhibitors themselves with a representative board of directors determining its ongoing strategy.
UKDFG CEO Steve Perrin said, “The last three months have seen significant progress in attracting the support of the distribution community for the independent cinema sector in its endeavours to move ahead with digital cinema installation. Now is the time to consolidate this support with the formation of a legal entity that can drive these negotiations forward in a formal and structured manner.”
Cinema Exhibitors Association (CEA) CEO Phil Clapp said, “Most industry professionals anticipate that significant progress in the digitisation of UK cinemas will be seen during 2010, particularly amongst the major circuits. The CEA position has remained that we need to do all we can to ensure that the independent cinema sector is not left behind in this period. The progress that this new development represents in this direction is therefore fully supported by the Association.”
Negotiations will continue throughout the year to determine financial arrangements for independent operators in accessing and installing digital cinema projection and related equipment.