Country Focus: Italy
Microcinema: Digital comes to over 100 theatres
by Gabriele Barcaro
- It is a season of great innovation for Microcinema, the first Italian digital distribution network of film and digital content, with over 100 participating theatres. After the release of Alejandro G. Monteverde’s Bella, which on January 26 inaugurated its collaboration with ACEC (Association of Catholic Cinema Exhibitors) – that according to CEO Roberto Bassano “offers independent cinema distribution possibilities in Italy by reducing those costs that normally burden traditional distribution” – today Microcinema announced the company’s entry in NEXT, the first Italian private/public venture capital fund launched in 2004 and run by Finlombarda Gestioni SGR.
The importance of the investment for NEXT (which acquired a minority stake with €1.5m), Luca Galli and Andrea Vestita, respectively the CEO and Advisor of Finlombarda Gestioni SGR, have become part of Microcinema’s Board of Directors.
“We are particularly pleased with this investment, for Microcinema’s great innovativeness as well as for the cultural effects that their technology and business model have on the territory,” said Galli.
Microcinema – which also counts among its institutional investors Strategia Italia SGR (which belongs entirely to Gruppo Invitalia, the national agency for attracting investments and developing Inc companies) and ACEC – was founded in 1997 with the technological support of CRIT (Centre for Research and Technological Innovation) of RAI in Turin, with the goal of studying and developing digital cinema in Italy.
Today, says Bassano, “with a catalogue of approximately 300 HD projects, over 16,000 digital screenings and 35,000 hours of satellite broadcasting, it has established itself as a reliable interlocutor for the entire film sector and as a concrete technological and entrepreneurial reality”.