Concerns within the independent sector
At the end of its annual conference, held in Paris from November 18-21, the Europa Cinemas network drew contrasting conclusions from the debates (see news and interview with economist Olivier Bomsel). Focusing on digital equipment, new trends in audience behaviour and the diversification of movie theatres’ activity (especially with regard to the Internet generation), the discussions highlighted a multitude of social media initiatives undertaken by exhibitors, but they also revealed several concerns within the independent sector.
According to Europa Cinemas, "the economic crisis is manifesting itself in several European countries as grim cuts in their cultural and audiovisual budgets. This situation poses a threat to theatres that take risks with their programming. Even more serious is the situation faced by independent exhibitors who, operating on many small markets, receive neither contributions from distributors nor public funding towards digital. Evidently, these theatres will not have the financial means to carry out the transition and will close, striking a damaging blow to the circulation of European film". According to estimates, between 5,000-6,000 theatres in Europe will find themselves in this situation.
Conference participants were also interested to find out about the situation in France where a law controls the market and where the National Film and Moving Image Centre (CNC) has implemented a mechanism to redress any inequalities of access to VPF (Virtual Print Fee). The final press release points out: "To date, no other country has put in place such a device".
Finally, the 2010 Europa Cinemas Awards went to Skalvijos Kino Centras (Vilnius – Lithuania) in the Best Programming category, to Kinodvor (Ljubljana – Slovenia) for Best Young Audience Activities and to Watershed (Bristol – United Kingdom) for Best Entrepreneur.
(Translated from French)
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