"DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for European Cinemas"
Kuurne, Belgium
6-10 April 2005


Milan, 12 April 2005


Sunday 10 April in Kuurne, Belgium, was the closing day of "DigiTraining Plus: New Technologies for European Cinemas", the MEDIA Salles’ training course for cinema exhibitors, specifically devoted to digital projection. Financed jointly by the European Union’s MEDIA Programme and the Italian Government, it was attended by around forty professional operators from all over Europe.
“We exhibitors – stated Domenico Dinoia, President of MEDIA Salles, in his comments on the course – have to gain an increasing knowledge of the new technologies, because it is thanks to them that we can solve some practical problems and, for example, manage to have access to more prints of a film, more titles and a greater choice of domestic and European works: all this – thanks to lower distribution costs – at more reasonable prices. If, by using these opportunities, we manage to bring more people into the cinemas, we shall truly be able to say that technology has been at the service of an idea, a dream”.
The course venue was the headquarters of Barco, the world famous producer of equipment for digital projection on the big screen. Here participants were also able to take a close look at some of the most recent equipment for digital projection, such as the DP100 projector with 2K resolution, produced by Barco, and the Kodak MN2000 CineServer. Four days devoted to an analysis of the potential of D- and E-Cinema, from business models to the role of national and international circuits, from the viewing of digital films to presentations of the opportunities opened up by alternative content, including the project “Opera Digitale” by the Gran Teatre del Liceu of Barcelona and the use of the movie theatre for edutainment, as suggested by the Israeli company CinemaPark.
A highly positive judgment was expressed by the course participants, who represent both small- and medium-sized exhibition companies, as well as large chains operating in different types of structures, from the multiplex to the cinema tending towards art-house movies.
“I very much appreciated the group work – said Jaap den Engelsman of Utopolis Almere (Netherlands) –. Listening to colleagues’ opinions helps you to think over your own choices”. “Being able to handle a digital projector – commented David Bain of RAAM Management Limited (UK) – and to obtain technical details was really very useful”. Also useful, according to Antonio Vincenzo Padula, of the E.R. Duni Theatre of Matera (Italy), was “the fact that practical suggestions were advanced, both with regard to content and with regard to business models”.
During the course, issue no. 2/2005, specifically devoted to digital cinema, of the MEDIA Salles’ Newsletter “European Cinema Journal”, was presented. It contains an interview with Costas Daskalakis, Head of the European Union’s MEDIA Programme, on the prospects for digital cinema in Europe, and a conversation with Peter Aalbæk Jensen, producer and founder, together with the director Lars von Trier, of Zentropa Entertainments, which does a great deal of work in the field of digital production. In the column launched this year on new technologies, an article on CinemaNet Europe, the international circuit for the distribution of documentaries 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