Country Focus: Italy
UniCi: independent cinemas introduce themselves to the public
by Camillo De Marco
- UniCi – Unione Cinema: this is the name the Italian Consortium of Independent Film Exhibitors has chosen to introduce itself to the public and the market with, and is doing so at Ciné, the summer event of the film industry, which will kick off tomorrow in Riccione and go on until 3 July. Tomorrow, UniCi’s website: www.unionecinema.it, will go live. Set up a year ago, today the Consortium includes 63 cinemas with 338 screens all over Italy, which in 2014 pulled in over 11 million viewers, accounting for 12.3% of box office sales.
UniCi represents a new organisational model for the Italian film industry, and is one-of-a-kind in Italy as it is not a network of cinemas, but a network in which every cinema maintains its individual identity whilst benefiting from common strategies and agreements. "Lots of cinemas, all unique” is the claim that has been chosen for the press release summarising the common project subscribed to by all kinds of cinemas – from local cinemas with one screen to multiplex theatres – with programmes including everything from arthouse films to international blockbusters. The colours of the logo, red and green, reflect the colours of the Italian flag, as UniCi cinemas have been built and are managed exclusively with state funds.
“UniCi – explains the president of the Consortium, Andrea Malucelli – was born with the aim of joining and coordinating forces, whilst maintaining the independence of the individual: every cinema keeps its own name and identity, its link with the community, and stays in direct contact with the public. In a year we have seen excellent results, working more closely with distributors and companies that provide cinema services to streamline management costs.
The network has also recently grown with the addition of 10 new cinemas, bringing the total number to 63, with 338 screens overall, giving us an even greater presence across Italy”.
“The sector – adds Malucelli – is showing great interest in UniCi. We’re sure that this organisational model is a winner and we will keep working not only to set up new working relationships but to make ourselves known to the general public by promoting our brand”.