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The Cinema of the Future: Five Prototypes shown off at NEXT


- CANNES NEXT: Cinemathon unveils five examples of how future film theatres should be

The Cinema of the Future: Five Prototypes shown off at NEXT
A photo from the Cinemathon session at NEXT

Saturday morning at NEXT kicked off with a refreshing session led by Cinemathon, where five prototypes for the cinema-going experience of the future were presented to the attendees, who promptly exchanged their opinions and ideas with Cinemathon co-founders Erwin M Schmidt and Susanne Marian.

“We see a real need for renewal and change in the film industry,” observed Schmidt. “For most films produced in the EU, the old business models no longer work. Yet the cataclysmic changes the industry is currently undergoing also offer great new possibilities to rethink the current value chain and to develop new business models. Cinemathon is part of this rethinking process.”

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Marian added: “In an age where virtual and real reality converge, people have different expectations of whatever they do in real reality – it needs to feel different, it needs to connect them to other people in a different way, it needs to be a special experience. We are interested in translating this desire to the cinema setting.”

Cinemathon is a Berlin-based, open-source initiative translating innovation strategies from the start-up world to the film industry. “At Cinemathon, we believe that the future means creating the new, not replacing the old. We analysed the main issues of film theatres and tried to address them in an innovative way. Our goal is to rejuvenate the cinematic experience," explains Schmidt.

In order to provoke a disruptive change in the cinema setting, Cinemathon organised a Design Thinking Workshop in collaboration with a design and innovation consultancy firm in early April 2016. Over two intense, productive days, international participants worked in interdisciplinary teams to develop prototypes for the cinema-going experience of the future. The 25 participants chosen for this workshop were highly qualified business strategists, technologists, architects, festival organisers, designers, artists, food entrepreneurs and VR creators, to name but a few of their professional roles. They brought with them years of expertise working at Sony, Arri, Deutsche Telekom, Oxera, Studiocanal, Arte, SVT, CPH:DOX, MK2, the IDFA, BuzzFeed, MIT media lab, among many other innovators. Three of the Workshop participants took part in the presentation and introduced their prototype: Tine Fischer (director of CPH:DOX), Michel Reilhac (interactive storyteller) and Wolf Bosse (chief innovation officer at Arri).

The five prototypes presented were:

Cinema Coop: allows independent movie theatres to build and nurture a closer relationship with their audience. It creates active communities of cinemagoers – both in digital and physical space.

Gorilla Kino: enables individuals to become curators and to show films they like in places they like. They can order a mobile toolkit (projector, screen, and sound) and use an app to manage their community. This allows audiences to get access to films that may currently not find exposure in regular cinemas otherwise.

Collab: a communal multiplex consisting of spaces of different sizes: big rooms allow for collective experiences, small rooms for intimate ones. The seating in all of the rooms is arranged in ways that allow audience members to face each other after the film, thus creating a cinematic amphitheatre. Collab's spaces are designed for not just straightforward film screenings, but also cinematic live-experiences, debates and conversations. A media table situated in the middle of each room allows for multipurpose use during the day, ranging from education and gaming, to picture and sound post-production of films.

CineMotel: a hotel-like space that offers people an immersive encounter with the world of movies. With every room designed differently, you can either just watch the 'movie' as it comes to life around you or actually re-enact parts of it in small groups, where you are matched with people who have the same interests. The experience ends in an exchange over dinner after every show.

Agenci (Audience GENerated Creative Input): captures an audience’s emotions and bio-feedback to reshape the narrative of a movie, thus generating different edits and versions over time; wherever the film is shown – Beijing, Moscow, Sao Paulo, New York, or Berlin – the story will develop differently. The director becomes the DJ of the material, producing remixes according to the local audience’s input.

Find out more about the five prototypes and Cinemathon here.


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