3D rugby instead of films: Independent distributors protest
DIRE (United European Independent Distributors) yesterday denounced the theatrical screening of non-cinematic works. On March 20, 22 movie theatres showed the France-England rugby match in 3D and last Wednesday, 60 Gaumont-Pathé cinemas screened (at an admission price of €22) the Flames of Paris ballet live from the Bolshoi Theatre.
As the football World Cup approaches, DIRE said: "These screenings are made possible thanks to the digital equipment in cinemas. Not only are cinematic works removed from the programme at their most important screening times (Wednesday, Saturday evenings…) to be replaced by other programmes, but moreover, the same establishments demand, through the newly-introduced payment for screen access rights, that film distributors finance the digital equipment that will make these non-cinematic screenings possible! They may as well ask distributors to dig their own grave."
"We cannot accept such practices; we will not finance the digital equipment of theatres in these conditions", concluded DIRE, which is calling for a consultation with the authorities to ensure strict control of these practices.
Initiated by Eric Lagesse (see news on Pyramide-Ymagis controversy), the campaign by independent distributors against the current conditions of movie theatres’ transition to digital is intensifying. Meanwhile, the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC) has announced that a government bill is under preparation to introduce the principle of compulsory contribution by distributors to the digital equipment of theatres.
DIRE members include Ad Vitam, Bac Films, Diaphana, Happiness Distribution, Haut et Court, Le Pacte, Les Films du Losange , Memento Films, Pyramide Distribution, Rezo Films and Wild Bunch Distribution.
(Translated from French)
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