Industry Report: Distribution and exhibition
13th Annual Conference of Europa Cinemas
- EUROPEAN CINEMAS ADAPT TO THE ALL-DIGITAL ERA
The 13th Annual Conference, organised by Europa Cinemas in Paris in 2008 saw the participation of more than 500 European professionals.
Exhibitors, distributors, research groups, experts and equipment suppliers from 40 countries came together over 3 days to discuss the future for film theatres at a time when the transition to digital projection is taking place and competition is arising from other methods of film distribution, in the era of multiple platforms and the Internet.
A number of representatives of European towns, cities and regions expressed their intention of supporting cinemas that are currently taking the risk and equipping themselves with digital technology, with a view to guaranteeing the diversity of the offering, both in terms of films and venues.
All the participants agreed that the funds used to finance the transition will initially come from exhibitors from cinemas themselves, specifically in the form of the contribution made by distributors to cinemas’ investments on the basis of the VPF (Virtual Print Fee). A number of distributors who were present provided examples of film releases in the two different formats and declared that they were willing to get involved and work side by side with cinemas within the framework of independent groupings.
Today, digital projection is proving all the more attractive to exhibitors as they are already having to adapt the activities they offer and their marketing to new information and communication technologies, primarily the Internet. At the Conference experiences of all kinds were shared, an indication of the creativity shown by the network’s exhibitors when it comes to making their cinemas places of sharing and discovery, places that are attractive to young audiences, who are major users of small-screen devices and the Internet.
The Conference concluded by considering the prospects of opening up the network on an international level, in particular in Asia and Latin America, within the framework of the future MEDIA MUNDUS programme of the European Union.
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