The course

Focus on the speakers

Michael Karagosian - MKPE Founder and President
Michael Karagosian is the founder and president of MKPE Consulting LLC, a Los Angeles-based consultancy in the entertainment industry. He is a 30 year veteran of the cinema industry, and has been active in the digital cinema space for the past decade. Michael's recent efforts include the negotiation of digital cinema deployment agreements for Ireland-based Digital Finance Limited and DCinema Alliance in the Philippines. He was an advisor in business planning for the Pirate Eye camcorder detection technology, and was responsible for the development of license-free standards for closed caption systems. He served for eight years as senior technology adviser to the US-based National Association of Theatre Owners. He is a member of the board of directors for In-Three, and was an advisor to the UK Film Council in the UK government-financed rollout of digital cinema. In the late 70's and early 80's, Michael led the development of cinema and studio products at Dolby Laboratories. In the 90's he was co-creator of the Peavey CinemAcoustics product line, and led the development of networked audio and control systems for Disney theme parks. He chairs the SMPTE TC-21DC30 Digital Cinema Working Group for Exhibition, and is the editor of mkpeReport ( His company site is
John Fithian - NATO President
John Fithian assumed the post of President and CEO of the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) in January 2000. During his ten years in office, Fithian has helped guide movie theater owners through recent challenges facing the exhibition industry, including technological developments, movie theft, government oversight of the movie rating system, preservation of the theatrical release window, and relationships with the creative, production and distribution communities. He serves as the chief public spokesperson for theater owners before public officials and the press. Recognizing the rapid globalization of the exhibition industry, Fithian has worked to improve coordination and communication between domestic theater owners and international cinema operators.
Steve Perrin - Chief Executive Digital Partnership LLP - UK
Steve is an industry veteran with 30 years front line film industry experience encompassing distribution, exhibition, data gathering and analysis, research and consultancy. His former industry positions include
  • Director of Marketing at Warner Bros Distributors UK
  • Senior Vice President of Nielsen EDI’s International division
  • Deputy Head of Distribution and Exhibition, UK Film Council
  • Senior Vice President and Head of International, Rentrak Theatrical

He is currently developing strategies to assist the independent cinema sector gain funding and capital to allow it to access and deploy DCI standard digital cinema equipment.

Steve has a PhD in film industry decision-making psychology and is also a Senior Research Fellow at the Creative Industries Research and Consultancy Unit at the University of Hertford.

Steve joined the UK Film Council in 2001 as Head of Research but subsequently helped to open up the newly created Distribution and Exhibition in November 2002. From this period until 2007, Steve helped develop the UKFC Digital Cinema strategy and developed significant expertise in the area of digital cinema. He has spoken extensively on the subject of D-Cinema in the UK, USA, Europe and Asia and is recognised as a leading spokesman for the industry.

Steve worked with Rentrak Theatrical from 2007 to 2009 with a brief to expand and manage its international activities in the provision of box office research and tracking services.

At the same time, he continues to speak at and chair industry conferences, with emphasis on digital cinema.

Giovanni Dolci - Arts Alliance Media Ltd
Giovanni Dolci joined Arts Alliance Media (AAM) in January 2009 and currently leads the company's sales strategy and business development across Europe. Having headed up negotiations with exhibitors and distributors in numerous European countries, Giovanni has extensive experience in the opportunities and challenges of digital cinema. In particular, he is highly experienced in the support models utilising the Virtual Print Fee mechanism, which are being implemented to digitize large exhibition circuits as well as independent cinemas.
Prior to joining AAM, Giovanni worked as a media consultant, focusing on business planning for start-up ventures in the new media and film industries. Previously, he was active in film financing and worked as Executive producer on a number of projects based in New Zealand, Italy and the UK. Giovanni has a degree in Economics and Management from Bocconi University and an MSc in Management with a specialisation in Film Business from Cass Business School.

Till Cussmann - Head of International Sales FTT

Till Cussmann, Head of International Sales, joined the Germany based digital cinema integrator FTT in 2010 in order to manage the recent international growth of the FTT group. He has been involved the early days development of digital cinema as a Sales Manager for XDC, when XDC supported early adopters with the first 2K projection system solutions starting in 2005. Till Cussmann has degrees in communication science and photography as well as outstanding experience in cinema operations.

As a cinema service provider with 50 years of experience, FTT has already implemented a large number of projects for multiplexes and independent cinemas in Germany and abroad and has got subsidiaries in Austria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Czech Republic, Italy and Benelux. Apart from project planning as well as selling and installing traditional 35mm technology, FTT has been active in the field of digital cinema and electronic advertising for more than 7 years and established itself as a leading European system integrator. FTT is a member of the XDC group and is also acting as sales agent for different financing models.

Till Cussmann at the DigiTraining Plus 2011
On 1 July, in Tallinn, Till Cussmann will highlight the challenges of servicing & financing digital equipment for smaller & cultural cinemas and show some new trends related to digital cinema.

Tilman Scheel - Managing Director, Founder, Reelport GmbH, Europe’s Finest GmbH
Born 1970 in Hanover, Tilman studied art history and law in Hamburg and Berlin. In 2001 Tilman became a lawyer with Arthur Andersen/Ernst&Young consultants, his areas of expertise being company and media law.
In July 2004 he developed Reelport, an online film submission platform for short film festivals like Oberhausen and Tampere. In 2005 Tilman founded the Reelport GmbH as an independent company. By now 18.000 film makers have uploaded more than 28.000 short films to 70+ festivals from Oberhausen, Germany to Tampere, Finland.
For feature films Reelport has developed an expertise in secure online streaming environments for film professionals. In partnership with Cinando, the platform of the Marché du Film, Cannes, Reelport is operating the online streaming and screener delivery solutions for feature film markets like Ventana Sur, Buenos Aires; POFF, Tallinn; or festivals like Abu Dhabi. By now, more than 1,000 recent feature films are streamed to professionals via Reelport servers.
In 2008 Tilman created Europe’s Finest with the support of MEDIA with the aim of saving European film heritage for the digital age. Europe’s Finest is by now offering more than 70 film classics and a dozen current Cannes and Berlin participants to digital cinemas across Europe. By now Europe’s Finest is the largest source of DCI compliant films on the continent.
Harri Ahokas - Head of Domestic Distribution at The Finnish Film Foundation
Harri Ahokas joined The Finnish Film Foundation in 2000 as Head of Domestic Distribution. His responsibilities include developing support mechanisms and grants for digitalisation and other subsidies to cinema owners and distributors. He also takes decisions regarding marketing and distribution support for domestic long feature films and documentaries.
Before Finnish Film Foundation, Harri Ahokas worked (1985-1992) as Head of Film Distribution at Gaudeamus Film. The company had an arthouse cinema (Bio Illusion) in Helsinki with it’s own imports of quality films. After Gaudeamus, Harri was 1992-1999 Managing Director for KinoScreen Illusion importing arthouse films and also distributing domestic feature films and documentaries.
Harri Ahokas graduated at Helsinki University with a BA in 1982.
Finnish Film Foundation supports national film production, distribution and promotion and is financed by Lottery funds via the Ministry of Culture and Education.
Emmanuel Joly - European Commission