CICAE celebrates its 60th anniversary at Cannes
by Birgit Heidsiek
- CANNES 2015: Arthouse exhibitors are fighting for the future of the cinema
On 18 May, CICAE will celebrate its 60th anniversary at the Cannes Film Festival. “The International Confederation of Art Cinemas was launched at the midpoint of cinema's 120-year history,” stated CICAE president Detlef Rossmann. In 1955, the cinema organisation started up with 64 members. Nowadays, more than 3,000 exhibitors from all over the world belong to CICAE. “This is a global movement that is very different in the various countries,” said Christian Bräuer, vice-president of CICAE.
Besides big film countries such as France and Germany, there are many small nations where arthouse theatres are vanishing. Countries such as Hungary have hardly any arthouse distributors, for example. In those territories where no cinema support is provided, not all screens can be converted to digital projection. “Huge global companies such as Google, Netflix and Amazon are pressing hard to conquer the European market. The cinemas have the disadvantage that they are expensive and immobile, and the viewers have to go there. But a cinema offers much more than just the showing of a film,” stressed Bräuer. “Cinema is a social meeting place where discoveries can be made.”
In Cannes, the members discussed how exhibitors can use marketing and social media in order to attract younger audiences. There is a tremendous fear that cultural variety will be lost, as the European Commission has suggested abolishing geo-blocking for online exploitation in its new proposal. “If that model is combined with a day-and-date release, the cinema won’t have a chance of survival,” said Rossmann. “This is an issue that has not been thought through.” CICAE points out that 28 European countries, representing 28 different cultures, are more than the sum of their parts. “There is not one single European market,” emphasised the CICAE president. “Europe is very different from the US. This is something that the new EU Commission needs to understand.”
Meanwhile, at the CICAE General Assembly, president Detlef Rossmann was re-elected, while vice-presidents Alain Bouffartigue (AFCAE, France), Christian Bräuer (AG Kino – Gilde eV, Germany) and Domenico Dinoia (FICE, Italy), and general secretary Romy Gysin (SSV/ASCA, Switzerland) have been reinstated for another term.