"DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for European Cinemas"
Kuurne, Belgium
31 March - 4 April 2004


Milan, 31 March 2004

Kuurne, Belgium, today saw the start of  "DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for European Cinemas", the new training course for cinema exhibitors promoted by MEDIA Salles and specifically addressing the issue of digital cinema, attended by forty professional players from nine European countries ranging from Portugal to Germany and Finland to Italy. The course, which will end on 4 April, is being held at the Head Quarters of Barco, a company of worldwide importance in the production of equipment for digital projection on the big screen.
As Mike Vickers, Treasurer of MEDIA Salles, declared in his opening talk, "The MEDIA Salles initiative is the first training event in Europe entirely devoted to questions of digital cinema from the exhibitors' point of view. I should particularly like to thank the European Commission and the Italian Government for supporting the initiative, which aims to make exhibitors better prepared to face the challenges of the future".
Addressing Sjoerd De Clerck, Managing Director of Barco Digital Cinemas, Mike Vickers also thanked Barco which, by hosting the course, offers participants the opportunity to gain hands-on experience of the most advanced technical tools for digital screening.
An introduction to the first day of work was also given by Costas Daskalakis, who is about to assume temporary responsibility for the MEDIA Programme and who welcomed all those present, pointing out the importance of participation by such a sizeable group of exhibitors from Hungary, one of the new EU member states. He stressed that the content of this course is in harmony with one of the MEDIA Plus Programmme's specific objectives: to increase the awareness and implementation of new digital technologies in the world of the cinema. This objective has, for example, taken concrete shape in the so-called "Pilot Projects". Finally he expressed his hopes that the new technology would facilitate the international distribution of European films.
Sjoerd De Clerck presented a general overview of the market for digital cinema in Europe, the United States and Asia, describing the size and the aims of the main projects of networks of digital screens.
The course materials include data relating to the spread of digital cinema throughout the world, which is the subject of a special section in MEDIA Salles' "European Cinema "Yearbook - 2003 final edition". This section shows in detail the situation (updated at 31 December 2003) of all screens equipped for digital screening (using DLP CinemaTM technology) and films produced or distributed in digital format.

For further information:
MEDIA Salles
Via Soperga, 2
I-20127 Milan
Tel.: +39.02.66984405 - Fax: +39.02.6691574
E-mail: infocinema@mediasalles.it