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Eurimages plans for digitization in southeast Europe

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A new plan is emerging to support digitization of cinemas in southeast Europe. If successful, the initiative would help convert 25 sites in four countries in its first year.The plan was introduced by Jovan Marjanovic, national representative for Eurimages in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Whereas the MEDIA programme provides support for digitization among is members, Marjanovic explained that Eurimages has sufficient funds to help exhibitors in four territories which are currently members of Eurimages but not MEDIA: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Turkey.

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Marjanovic described a plan whereby Eurimages would catalyze the digitization process by funding one-third of the conversion for each site, including 3D capability, estimated to cost EUR 60,000 per site. Another third would come from local sources, be they state or municipal, and the remainder to come from the exhibitors themselves.

"This modest investment in future infrastructure will significantly increase the market share for specialized content in the region and increase the lifespan of films beyond festivals", Marjanovic said.

Marjanovic said the plan was not finalized but that Eurimages would further develop the initiative in the coming months.

Marjanovic announced his plan last month at the Cinelink Regional Forum on the State of the Film Industry in Southeast Europe. Also speaking at the forum, Irish Film Board chief executive Simon Perry called for a pan-regional fund in Southeast Europe for co-production, with an emphasis on strong auteur voices and a clear plan to address digital platforms and their advantages.

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