Milan, 25 September 2004
A summary of the current state of digital
cinema opened the fourth day of the course promoted by MEDIA Salles
at Budapest. According to the data gathered by MEDIA Salles, as at
June 2004 there are in all 32 screens equipped with DLP CinemaTM technology
in Western Europe. In August 2003, there were 14: they have more than
doubled in less than a year. In Central-Eastern Europe, digital screening
seems yet far off: there were 2 screens equipped with DLP CinemaTM as
at August 2003 and were only 3 nearly a year later. The record goes to
Asia, that has a good 109, followed by North America, with 85. Throughout
the world, there are in all 242 digital screens.
Are the numbers still too low - above all considering that there are about
100,000 screens around the world that project in the 35mm format - to
speak of a real interest on the exhibitors' side? Certain signs would
suggest to the contrary.
In fact, though these figures can give the impression of a yet scarce
interest towards this innovation, initiatives already undertaken or currently
being realized demonstrate that the new technologies are attracting strong
Proof of this is the project developed by the UK Film Council for the
launch of a network of about 200 digital screens within the United Kingdom.
"At the base of this choice - affirmed Steve Perrin, Deputy Head
of Distribution and Exhibition of the UK Film Council, in his intervention
- there is the desire to use the new technologies to offer a wider choice
of films, reinforcing the market for national, niche films and those arriving
from all over the world".
Trust in the possibilities of digital screening has also emerged from
the words of Rolv Gjestland, from Norway, Technical Consultant
of Film&Kino. In Norway, all advertising in the cinemas has left behind
the 35mm format and is screened electronically. The project that is aimed
at the conservation of the national cinematographic patrimony and towards
spreading the knowledge of it also utilizes the new technologies.
Something crucial to the development of the cinema market, whether one
speaks of digital screening or of the 35mm format, is the struggle against
piracy. Intervening on this theme was Trevor Albery of Warner Bros,
who illustrated the main strategies used to fight the market for counterfeits.
A reflection by Jan van Dommelen, President of Unic, offered the
course participants ideas and notions regarding the future trends of cinema-going
and, more in general, the spectators' expectations concerning the offers
available for free-time activities.
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