Spain’s A Contracorriente Films to premiere films online
- From 6 April, the distributor and exhibitor will give the public – and other companies that want it – access to its “virtual theatre”, an online cinema where they can enjoy national premieres
With the movie theatres closed in Spain and film releases being postponed left, right and centre, we can be grateful for initiatives such as the one being implemented by distributor, producer and exhibitor A Contracorriente Films, which is planning to premiere four films on their originally scheduled release dates. To achieve this, it’s creating an online virtual theatre, where viewers will be able to see the documentary Easter in Art by Phil Grabsky from 6 April; Vivarium [+see also:
interview: Lorcan Finnegan
film profile], the second feature by Lorcan Finnegan, from 8 April; the Italian production Ordinary Happiness [+see also:
film profile] by Daniele Luchetti from 10 April; and France’s School Life [+see also:
interview: Zita Hanrot
film profile], the second film written and directed by Mehdi Idir and Grand Corps Malade, from 17 April.
The name of the platform in question is Salavirtualdecine.com – which is currently under construction, due to be completed imminently – and here, the general public will be able to access the aforementioned titles via their various different devices. At the same time, A Contracorriente Films is inviting other distributors and exhibitors to use this same platform to show movies whose release had been scheduled for the coming weeks, bearing in mind the fact that the cinemas are now closed owing to the precautionary measures being taken to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
In this way, viewers will be able to watch the aforementioned releases by paying the regular price of a cinema ticket in Spain, €6.95, and will be able to enjoy the movie for 72 hours on up to four devices without having to leave home – which is ideal, given the self-isolation measures that have been recommended by the health authorities. The platform will have its own app available for Smart TV devices (LG, Samsung and Android TV for Sony, Philips and other makes of television), iOS (with AirPlay), Android (with Chromecast) and AppleTV. In addition to getting a release in those cinemas that happen to be open by the above dates, and via this virtual movie theatre, these films will be available from their very day of release via digital platforms such as Movistar+, Vodafone, Rakuten.tv, iTunes and Google Play.
Cineuropa had a telephone conversation with Eduardo Escudero, business manager at A Contracorriente Films, who currently finds himself working from home, like countless other people. He told us: “In some small way, some miniscule way, this virtual movie theatre will alleviate the problem of the release bottleneck that’s occurring. Therefore, we will have released these four films, and we will be able to get to work on others for the coming months. This initiative was born of our point of view as exhibitors, conceived for the cinemas that we manage. And so we are thinking about offering it to all of the cinemas that are in a position to join up: we have already offered it to other exhibitors, and we are in talks with them. At the moment, nobody’s said no. Because this virtual theatre is being created with the aim of showing solidarity for the cinemas. Various distributors have also been calling us.”
Perhaps this idea of online releases – which US companies are already making headway with – will catch on not only in Spain, but also across the rest of the continent. “I’ve been talking to European distributors, and although each country has its own legal peculiarities, we are open to explaining the project and the experience to them,” concludes Escudero.
(Translated from Spanish)
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