Network conferences

11th Annual Conference, Paris, 2006


Digital Cinema: Moving towards unity among European professionals



Digital cinema was the topic at the heart of the debates held during this weekend event, which was organised for 500 professionals from 37 different European countries who came together in Paris at the invitation of Europa Cinemas.

This Conference served as a meeting point for numerous members of the network, but also for heads of institutions (such as the European Investment Bank), federations of exhibitors and distributors and representatives of technology industries, who were joined by producers, equipment suppliers, financiers and experts from research consultancies. The American industry was also represented thanks to the contribution by Julian Levin, who is responsible for digital development at Twentieth Century Fox.

This was without doubt the first time that the search for unity and solidarity was the theme to emerge from this constructive debate, which prepares us to face up to the technical and economic challenges of digital cinema.

The French report by Daniel Goudineau, which was translated into English for the event, formed an excellent starting point for detailing the whole range of issues at stake within the context of this technological revolution. 

The study by RMC Medien Consult added to this report by putting a figure on the savings that would be generated at European level through the replacement of the 35 mm print with the digital format and drew up flexibility hypotheses that would make it possible to use these savings to finance the process of equipping film theatres.

The participants were unanimous in confirming 2K as the international projection standard. They underlined the absolute necessity of ensuring the interoperability of the equipment and acknowledged that the management of keys needs to be entrusted to a third party capable of guaranteeing independence and freedom for theatres in the area of programming. The network's exhibitors are extremely concerned about diversity and believe that digital technology should help them to circulate works more easily. As far as investment in projection rooms is concerned, they all recognised that this will have to be mainly financed by the savings made in the area of distribution. Whilst the Virtual Print Fee is a good starting point, it is necessary to ensure that small distributors and exhibitors will not be penalised by a mechanism that would have a tendency to encourage concentration.

The participants also expressed their desire for a code of conduct to enable the profession to act transparently with regard to the negotiations held with film and equipment suppliers and in relation to the economic models adopted.

Finally, they stated their wish for these debates to be transferred to national level, and Europa Cinemas declared that it was willing to mobilise its exhibitors and experts to contribute towards the organisation of these meetings.

This Conference was an important opportunity for distributors and exhibitors to get together. Representatives of the FIAD and the new network of independent distributors Europa Distribution contributed to the workshop on the promotion of films in theatres. They provided examples of the successful marketing of European films outside their countries of origin thanks to original forms of cooperation between exhibitors and distributors.

Presentations made by the speakers




  • Detailed presentation of the RMC Study on Economic Models. Evolution of industry-public sector initiatives.
  • What economic choices and what standards for the durable development of digital cinema?
  • Investment support schemes: roles of the public and local authorities.
  • How to manage the transitional period between analogue and digital?
  • Can digital projection attract new audiences?

Led by Anders Geertsen (Director of Distribution, Danish Film Institute, and Head of the Commercial Module of the European Digital Cinema Forum)

Thomas Pintzke and Kim Ludolf Koch (Consultants, Rinke Medien Consult, Germany)

David Hancock (Senior Analyst Film & Cinema, Screen Digest, United Kingdom)

Patrick Vanhoudt (Economist from the Projects Directorate, European Investment Bank, Luxemburg)

Dr. Siegfried Fößel (Project Coordinator, Digital Cinema, Fraunhofer Institut, Germany)

Patrick von Sychowski (Head of Digital Business Development,Deluxe Europe)

Klaus Hansen (Head of Danish Film Producers Association)

Edward Fletcher (Distributor, Soda Pictures, United Kingdom)

Marcus van der Zwaag (Distributor, Cinemien, The Netherlands)

Age Hoffart (Distributor, Oro Films, Norway)

Chris Koppelmeier (Project Manager German Roll Out)

Christophe Lacroix (Consultant, ex-Head of Distribution Buena Vista France)

Michel Humbert (Exhibitor, Member of AFCAE, France)


  • Increasing the potential of European films: joint distributor-exhibitor strategies (case studies).
  • Does the disengagement of television channels impact offer diversity?
  • Does the concentration of operators and the media respect the success of independents?
  • What's new in the chronology of the release windows?
  • The emergence of VOD ("Video on Demand"): Impact on theatre attendance.
  • Led by Michael Gubbins (Chief Editor, Screen International, United Kingdom)

Stefan de Potter (Distributor, Cinéart/Cinélibre, Belgium)

Isabelle Dubar (Distributor, ID Distribution, France)

Antonio Medici (Distributor, BIM Distribuzione, Italy)

Marcin Piasecki (Distributor, Kino Swiat, Poland)

Linda Pariser (Exhibitor, Corner House, United Kingdom)

Enrique Gonzales Macho (Exhibitor and distributor, Renoir Cinemas and Alta Films, Spain)

Jean-Jacques Varret (Distributor, Films du Paradoxe, France)

Johannes Klingsporn (Head of Verband der Deutschen Filmverleiher, Germany)

Nicole La Bouverie (General Delegate, Procibel, Belgium)

André Lange (Head of Department Markets & Financing, European Audiovisual Observatory)


  • MEDIA Plus: Evolution of the 2007 Guidelines.
  • Euromed Audiovisuel II: First results of the support programme in the Mediterranean and in Europe.
  • Presentation of the regulations on on-line services.
  • Miscellaneous questions.

Claude-Eric Poiroux (General Director, Europa Cinemas)

Claude Miller (Director, President of Europa Cinemas)

Nour-Eddine Saïl (General Director, Moroccan Cinema Center)

Nicole La Bouverie (General Delegate, Procibel, Belgium)

Sophie Rakoto (Un Cinéma pour Madagascar)

2006 Europa Cinemas Awards


Claude Miller, Costa-Gavras and Jeanne Moreau presented the 2006 Europa Cinemas Awards to 3 European exhibitors from the network during an evening at the Cinéma des Cinéastes:

  • Award for Best Programming: Grand Teatret cinema (6 screens) in Copenhagen, Denmark, managed by Kirsten Dalgaard and Kim Foss.
  • Award for Best Initiative for Young Audiences: Cinema Paradiso (2 screens) in St. Pölten, Austria, managed by Gerald Knell and Alexander Syllaba.
  • Award for Best Entrepreneur: Enrique Gonzáles Macho, Cines Renoir, with 65 screens throughout Spain.

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