The fourth day of the course, Saturday 2 July, opened with a talk by Anthony Barbagallo, Head of Tourism, Sport and Entertainment, who stressed that DigiTraining Plus fits into a series of events regarding the cinema keenly promoted by the Regional Authorities of Sicily, which strongly believe in this sector and invest in it.
The first session was devoted to added content, one of the new elements that digital projection has brought to cinema programming, combined - for live shows - by satellite transmission.
Yet, having available a variety of richer and richer content - from opera to ballets, from art exhibitions to concerts of contemporary music - is not in itself a guarantee of success. In this field, too, "educating" spectators, informing them and involving them, is an aspect that must not be neglected.
Klaudia Elsässer, who manages a distribution company specializing in added content and in re-editions for Central-Eastern Europe, demonstrated a series of initiatives that make the work of the cinema exhibitor easier.
Pannonia Entertainment, the enterprise Klaudia set up four years ago, launches Stratford's Shakespeare theatre seasons in Canada, thanks to special evenings bringing together actors, literary experts and other prominent figures in the world of culture, entertainment and the media, in the unique setting of Budapest's Urania Theatre, bringing visibility to programmes that are then screened in cinemas.
The potential of added content, particularly when integrated into a dedicated marketing and promotional strategy, was confirmed by Anna Schönbeck, who explained the positive experiences of cinemas on the FHP circuit in Sweden, characterized by widespread coverage of the territory and a trusting relationship with their audiences.
The importance of a cinema's relationship with its audiences also emerged from the sequence of accounts that followed during the morning. Successfully linking the cinema to local organizations was one of the strategies - together with the transition to digital - thanks to which a small cinema in Finland, serving a community of five thousand inhabitants in an area a long way from the big cities, managed to increase its spectators four times over, as the manager Ilkka Peura explained.
A completely different geographical and sociological context is provided by the one in which the Ciné Paradis operates - a "female" exhibiting company with complexes in Nemours, Chartres and Fontainebleau. For Olivia Reggiani, her sister and their mother the big challenge is to recover the spectators - around half of the total - that their historically established cinema in Fontainebleau lost when two competing multiplexes opened. To meet the challenge, Ciné Paradis courageously made a new bid, opening a six-screen complex and placing its odds on cutting-edge technology, including immersive sound.
If, as Olivia states, technology is of vital importance to today's audiences, emerging needs in society cannot be neglected, either, as they overlap into the context of cinema-going: concern for the environment is one of these. If, in Sweden, cinemas offering organic products instead of the usual popcorn can obtain special certification, as demonstrated by Anna Schönbeck, in other places virtuous behaviour is being established by exhibitors who turn to companies providing renewable energy sources. Thanks to the examples given by Pedro Barbadillo of the Spanish Cineciutat circuit, it could be seen how protection of the environment and saving on the cost of energy - the energy consumed by digital projectors is certainly not negligible - can go hand in hand.
The day ended with the screening of the documentary "Due Sicilie" (Two Sicilies) and the "lectio" by Peter Buckingham who identified technology and knowledge as the two paths to pursue when imagining the movie theatres of the future.
The course closed with a cocktail, after which the participants at DigiTraining Plus 2016 were guests at the awards ceremony of the prestigious "Nastri d'argento" (Silver Ribbons) presented by Italian film critics in the unique setting of Taormina's ancient amphitheatre.
The course is organized by MEDIA Salles with the partnership of