Cinema, culture and the internet
by Birgit Heidsiek
- CANNES 2014: At the General Assembly of the International Confederation of Art Cinemas (CICAE) at Cannes, exhibitors discussed the role of cinema in the digital age
The relationship between cinema, culture and the internet was a key topic at the CICAE (the International Confederation of Art Cinemas) conference at Cannes, which brought together exhibitors from arthouse cinemas all over the world. “We don’t see a competition between analogue and digital,” stated Detlef Rossmann, who has been re-elected as president of CICAE. “On the contrary, we are open to any technical innovations. The arthouse theatres were the first cinemas in Europe to install digital projectors.”
Cinemas need the internet in order to communicate with their audience, as well as for ticket sales. But exhibitors do not want to have films treated as pure products that are distributed on the web. “Film is a cultural product that can be seen much better on a big screen,” emphasised the CICAE president. “This is a social function that isn’t offered by the web.”
The starting-up of Netflix in various European countries will be a challenge for the home-video market. “If users have a subscription deal, that will affect other online platforms,” said Christian Bräuer,who has been elected as vice-president of CICAE. “We have to find ways of addressing the younger audience that enjoys watching movies on small screens. Media use is changing, but people still want to go out.”
Rossmann foresees a positive impact for the new digital strategy that the European Commission outlined at Cannes. “It is really crucial to downsize the overproduction of films in the big countries in Western Europe,” he underlined, as he welcomed Xavier Troussard, head of unit of the Creative Europe programme, to the CICAE event. “If more than 1,300 films are produced with public support, the question is what kind of marketing can be done, and how can all these movies be released theatrically? I really appreciate the fact that the EU is going to raise questions like these in order to change the parameters of film funding.”
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.