The European Audiovisual Observatory has announced that the theme of this year’s must-attend Cannes afternoon workshop will be: Digital Cinema Tango! Getting the right rhythm for the digitisation of European cinemas. It will take place in the Salle Buñuel (Palais des Festivals) on Sunday 16th of May from 3pm to 4.30 pm. Last year’s Observatory afternoon conference packed in over 350 participants and this year’s event should follow the trend.
The Observatory’s Director, Wolfgang Closs, explained the curious title of this year’s Observatory conference: “We feel that it’s imperative to address the financing of the digitisation of cinemas in Europe. It’s THE big debate in the cinema industry at the moment and concerns all the players, from producers, through to distributors and exhibitors – right along the chain. On the one hand, the major cinema chains are part of the roll-out process, whereas the smaller independent cinemas are facing major financial challenges just to keep up. There is a clear problem of synchronisation of movement: the market is now going very fast, but the public policies necessary to support the transition for small cinemas are quite slow, due to complex legal issues. This two-speed process made us think of the ‘slow, slow, quick, quick, slow’ steps of the tango!”
Starting the dance this year is the Observatory’s cinema analyst Martin Kanzler who will look the overall 2009 box office trends. Stepping out nearby will be Elisabetta Brunella of Media Salles with an analysis of digital roll-out in Europe for 2009. They will be joined by Susan Newman, the Observatory’s film funding analyst who will present a guide to the public funding currently available for digital roll-out. Also tripping the light fantastic will be Francisco Cabrera, Legal Analyst at the Observatory, who will focus on the complex legal issues surrounding state aid for digitisation by looking at recent national decisions in the field.
A distinguished line-up of speakers, moderated by André Lange, Head of Department at the Observatory, will then take to the floor to look at the challenges and threats posed by digital roll-out to European films and their space on cinema screens in Europe. Confirmed speakers include Ian Christie, Vice President of Europa Cinemas andChristine Eloy of Europa Distribution, Aviva Silver, Head of the MEDIA Programme of the European Union, andAntoine Virenque, President of the European Digital Cinema Forum.
The Observatory will have its stand, as ever, on the Cannes Film Market and will be presenting three new cinema-related information products. The access-free KORDA
database on all sources of public funding for film and audiovisual works in Europe has been totally re-vamped and the new improved KORDA will be available for consultation on the Observatory’s stand (A6 Riviera) throughout the market. Susan Newman, will demonstrate the new database on Saturday 15 May. Francisco Cabrera will be present to talk about his new IRIS plus
report on the legal aspects of digital cinema roll-out which will be available on the Observatory’s stand. A further issue of IRIS plus
on product placement will also be published during the Cannes Film Market. As every year, the latest issue of the FOCUS – World Film Market Trends
, published in collaboration with the Cannes Market, will be available as a give away on the stand.
As usual, the Observatory can be found on the Marché du Film on stand A6 Riviera (tel.: + 33 (0)4 92 99 33 17).