Network conferences

12th Annual Europa Cinemas Conference, 2007

 

The future of European cinemas in the era of the Internet and digital technology

 

Conference_2007_Int

Almost 400 participants, including network exhibitors and distributors, research groups and suppliers of equipment, from 36 countries, as well as Romanian directors, producers and professionals, met in Bucharest from 15 to 18 November for the 12th Annual Europa Cinemas Conference. 

Discussions focused on the future of the cinema in the era of the Internet, the transition to digital technology and on renewing audience interest in European films.

 

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The network exhibitors are aware that digital projection can help diversify their programming, provided that questions of investment and content are resolved.

Participants showed great interest in several suggested economic models seeking to adapt the Virtual Print Fee (VPF) principle to the fragmentation and the multiplicity of parties involved in the European market.
The flexibility retained last year by the RMC Rinke Medien Consult study, commissioned by Europa Cinemas, was largely resumed by third-party investors seeking to translate into reality the participation of distributors in the financing of digital projectors in cinemas.
All of the participants recalled that the solution involved firstly a financial agreement between distributors and exhibitors, although a contribution by local or regional public authorities could be encouraged as support for cinemas in small and medium-sized towns.
From a technical point of view, 2K continues to be the norm for all exhibitors who expressed the need for full interoperability between systems.

As far as content is concerned, exhibitors consider this to be most lacking, failing to see the usefulness of purchasing equipment quickly for the screening of so few European films. However, several companies presented plans to launch European films in digital, new films and retrospectives.

In conclusion, the Conference encouraged all independents in the sector, both distributors and exhibitors, to find their own economic models without waiting for these to be imposed by the American major companies or large European networks.
Costas Daskalakis, for the European Commission, clearly explained that the MEDIA programme would not finance digital equipment in cinemas. Europa Cinemas will continue to grant additional support to the scheduling of European films screened using 2K technology.

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Exhibitors agreed that the Internet could be turned to their advantage and become the new word-of-mouth for European films, providing better knowledge of films and attracting young audiences to cinemas.

The internet has, furthermore, been extended by participants in all technologies and supports which today offer images as clips, games or films to an increasingly young and increasingly captive audience.
A Dutch sociologist present recalled that young people need to get together more than ever. Why not at film theatres?
Several exhibitors gave evidence of the importance of retaining their brand image to their audiences showing that, on the contrary, their originality should be reaffirmed in terms of choice of films and activities. This view will be at the heart of future network meetings since it is crucial in allowing the cinema to maintain its place as market leader in a world of growing competition between the various forms of entertainment and sharing.
Exhibitors recognise that, thanks to the Internet, they must invent new means of communication to encourage their audiences.

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The Conference paid homage to the young Romanian filmmakers, notably Cristi Puiu, Catalin Mitulescu and Corneliu Porumboiu, all of whom took part in the discussions and Europa Cinemas award ceremonies. They highlighted the cruel inadequacy in the number of cinemas across Romania. 

There are not enough screens to allow their films to be viewed by their intended audiences in their country of origin.
This situation led the producers Oleg Mutu and Nicoleta Talpes, attending the Conference, to establish, alongside Cristian Mungiu, a 'Caravan' travelling through the country to show 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, in unequipped multi-use venues. Thus, the Palm d'Or was seen by 87,000 people in total, in a country which has barely 35 cinemas in operation.

The organisers of this Conference in Bucharest expressed encouragement to any Romanian professional wishing to renovate or build the number of cinemas commensurate with a country of 22 million inhabitants known for having been great cinema-lovers until the 1990s.

Workshops and Presentations

 

OPENING OF THE CONFERENCE

Donato Chiarini (Head of European Commission Representation in Romania)
Eugen Serbanescu (General Director - Centrul National al Cinematografiei, Romania)
Costas Daskalakis (Executive Agency, Programme MEDIA of the European Commission)
Claude Miller (Director, President of Europa Cinemas)
Claude-Eric Poiroux (General Director, Europa Cinemas)
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SESSION I - WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF CINEMAS IN THE AGE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES?

  • Will the new modes of film consumption change audiences' relationship to film theatres?
  •  Are new technologies changing young people's attitude to the cinema and their viewing habits?
  • What economic impact is piracy having on cinema attendance?
  • Digital cinema and online services: towards standardisation or diversification of films offered?
  • How can independent theatres use the internet to conquer new audiences?

Led by Michael Gubbins (Chief Editor, Screen International, UK)
Cristi Puiu (Director, Romania)
Jeroen Boschma (Founder and Creative Director, Keesie, The Netherlands)
Pascal Rogard (CEO, SACD, France)
Stefan Paul (Exhibitor/Distributor, Passage Kinos/Arsenal Filmverleih, Germany)
Marie Bloomfield (Analyst, Screen Digest, UK)
Enrique Gonzales Macho (Exhibitor/Distributor, Renoir Cinemas/Alta Films, Spain)
Antonio Salvadori (Exhibitor, Circuito Cinema, Italy)
Penny Watson (MyFilms.com Project Director, Sledge, UK)
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SESSION II - WORKSHOP 1:

DIGITAL CINEMA: HOW TO PRESERVE THE DIVERSITY OF CINEMAS IN EUROPE?

  • The state of digital distribution and projection in Europe. 
  • What economic models are offered today?
  • Is the "Virtual Print Fee" compatible with the diversity of cinemas and the circulation of films in Europe?
  • Do independent distributors and exhibitors have the means to face the transition to digital technology alone?
  • How to share risks and ensure solidarity among all participants?

Led by David Hancock (Senior Analyst, Screen Digest, UK)
Kim Ludolf Koch & Thomas Pintzke (Consultants, RMC - Rinke Medien Consult, Germany)
Peter Buckingham (Head of Distribution and Exhibition, UK Film Council)
Rolv Gjestland (Technical Director, Film & Kino, Norway)
Chris Marcich (Vice President and Managing Director, Moving Pictures Association of America's European Office)
Gwendal Auffret (Managing Director - Southern Europe - Arts Alliance Media Digital Cinema, UK)
Jean Mizrahi (President, Ymagis, France)
Alain Besse (Engineer, Commission Supérieure Technique, France)
Chris Koppelmeier (Ex-Manager German Roll Out, Germany)
Paul Corcoran (General Director, Kino Cinemas Holding, UK)
Monika Weibel (Distributor, Frenetic Films, Switzerland)
Nick Varley (Distributor, Park Circus, UK)
Thierry Delpit (Head of Project, Digital Platform - CN Films, France)
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SESSION II - WORKSHOP 2:

DISTRIBUTORS - EXHIBITORS: HOW TO RENEW AUDIENCES?

  •  How can theatres aid distributors in promoting European films?
  • Is there enough cooperation in film release strategies?
  • How to modernise the image of art house cinemas?
  • How to use the Internet and web forums to promote films among young audiences?
  • Apart from pricing policy, how to establish audience loyalty to a cinema?

Led by Michael Gubbins (Chief Editor, Screen International, UK)
Mark Cosgrove (For Wimon Ward and ICO-Independent Cinema Office, UK)
Nicoleta Talpes (Director, Image Factory, Romania)
Madeleine Probst (Programme Co-Ordinator, Watershed, UK)
Christian Thomas (Distributor, Imagine Film Distribution, Belgium)
Martin Kochendörfer (Head of Distribution, X-Film Verleih, Germany)
Jakub Duszynski (Head of Acquisitions, Gutek Films, Poland)
Marco Villotta (Exhibitor, CEC Udine, Italy)
Ted Chiaradia (Exhibitor, Lux Nijmegen, The Netherlands)
Vincent Adatte (Co-Director, La Lanterne Magique, Switzerland)
Frauke Feuer (Consultant, Peaceful Fish, Germany)
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FOCUS ON ROMANIA: PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION, EXHIBITION

Led by Mihai Gligor (Head of Romanian Film Promotion)
Daniel Mitulescu (Producer, Romania)
Antoine Bagnaninchi (Distributor, Independenta Film, Romania)
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WORKSHOP CONCLUSIONS

Michael Gubbins (Chief Editor, Screen International, UK)
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SESSION III - EUROPA CINEMAS:  PERSPECTIVES AND DEADLINES IN 2008

  •  MEDIA Plus: Changes in the 2008 Guidelines. New Guidelines for Young Audiences.
  • Euromed Audiovisuel II: Results and deadlines in the support programmes for Europe and the Mediterranean.
  • Non-MEDIA countries: Results and perspectives.
  • Miscellaneous.

Led by Claude-Eric Poiroux (General Director, Europa Cinemas)
Claude Miller (President of Europa Cinemas)
Tilman Scheel (Europe's Finests - Germany)
Fatima Djoumer (Head of International Relations, Europa Cinemas)
Menem Richa (EUROMED Audiovisuel coordinator, Europa Cinemas)
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Prix Europa Cinemas 2007

 

The 2007 EUROPA CINEMAS AWARDS were awarded to:
- Best Programming: Friedrichsbau & Kandelhof, Freiburg (Germany)
- Best Activities for Young Audiences: Gdansk Film Centre - Neptun-Helikon-Kameralne, Gdansk (Poland)
- Best Entrepreneur: Circuito Cinema (Italy)
(see our press on the Europa Cinema Awards).

 

Conference_Bucuresti_07_In

Preview screenings of European films

 

Sztucki (Tricks) (95', Andrzej Jakimowski, Europa Cinemas Label - Giornate degli Autori 2007) was screened on Friday 16th during the Europa Cinemas Awards Ceremony.
The Conference began on Thursday 15th with the screening of 8 European films:
The Secret of the Grain (La Graine et le Mulet) (151', Abdellatif Kechiche, France)
Children (Börn) (93', Ragnar Bragason, Iceland)
California Dreamin' (Nesfarsit) (155', Cristian Nemescu, Romania)
The Paper will be blue (Hirtia va fi albastra) (95', Radu Mutean, Romania)
The Class (Klass) (99', Ilmar Raag, Estonia, Europa Cinemas Label - Karlovy Vary 2007)
Mataharis (100', Iciar Bollain, Spain)
Don't think about it (Non Pensarci) (110', Gianno Zanasi, Italy)
Love Life (Liebesleben) (113', Maria Schrader, Germany/ Israel)

Programme of the trailer's presentation

 

The participants had the opportunity to watch a program of European films trailers. It was a chance to have a look on latest productions from all Europe: the new Cedric Klapisch film, some gems among animation films (Fear(s) of the Dark, Max & Co...) as well as films by renowned European directors (Ermanno Olmi, Roy Andersson, Marc Caro, Amos Gitaï, Pascal Thomas, Kevin Mc Donald...) and the first films by young directors such as Jalil Lespert or Nic Balthazar will be shown. Of course, the trailers of Control by Anton Corbijn, Summer Rain by Antonio Banderas and The Class by Ilmar Raag, all Europa Cinemas Label winners, were also be presented.
For the detailed programme: here

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