CICAE seeks innovation and sustainability

European Update

The International Confederation of Art Cinemas (CICAE) introduced the 2018 project for its “Art Cinema = Action + Management” training course in San Servolo, Venice, Italy, co-financed by Creative Europe MEDIA Programme.

Three new actions aim to “amplify the training’s short-term return on investment” by including tailored one-on-one networking sessions. For executive trainees, a more mentorship-focused approach “tackles a specific challenge or problem.” In addition to personalized sessions with tutors and experts, online resources for the participants will follow the training.

“We are in a crucial period for the industry with market concentration, digital diversification and evolving customer habits,” says project manager Javier Pachón, who is co-founder and director of CineCiutat in Palma De Mallorca, Spain. “So, it is an exciting challenge and an honor to lead a project focused on sharing knowledge and helping us set a higher standard for art-house exhibitors all over the world.”

Detlef Rossmann, the German president of CICAE, welcomes this approach as “a key tool” that helps art-house cinemas “stay at the forefront of innovation.” The six-day training addresses every major area that affects art-house cinema management, organizers noted, from business planning, funding and employee experience to programming, marketing and communication. Another key element is “giving continuity to the Green Screens session, sharing environmentally friendly actions for exhibitors.”

BFI Sets Blockbuster Comedy Season

“We think there is enough wisecracking, slapstick, satire, smut and innuendo in our ‘Comedy Genius’ season for everyone,” says Heather Stewart, creative director of the British Film Institute (BFI). “In a divided Britain, in a world where we may be uncertain about what we’re allowed to find funny anymore, we need a laugh more than ever.”

From October to the end of January, the BFI is only too happy to comply with “the U.K.’s greatest-ever celebration of film and TV comedy.” “Comedy Genius” kicks off in style with Jane Fonda “In Conversation at BFI Southbank” on Oct. 23, celebrating the BFI re-release of 9 to 5 (Colin Higgins, 1980) across cinemas on Nov. 16. Two weeks earlier, the sparkling new 4K restoration of Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959) will heat up selected cinemas. The BFI also spotlights the trailblazers of the past, from the beloved Laurel and Hardy to the overlooked, such as “The Marvellous Mabel Normand.”

“Comedy Genius” will reach every corner of the U.K., BFI promises, via screenings and events funded by the BFI Film Audience Network (BFI FAN). Quite FAN-tastic, indeed, to think that ‘Lighten Up!’ will host comedy screenings at U.K. cathedrals and churches, including Sister Act (Emile Ardolino, 1992) and Monty Python’s Life of Brian (Terry Jones, 1979). A touring series presented by the Independent Cinema Office (ICO) will cover a wide range of films and many more titles will be available on BFI Player. Trailblazing Women (She Done Him Wrong, All of Me, Mean Girls and Girls Trip) meet Agents of Chaos (What’s Up Doc?, Dr Strangelove: Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb ) on Stoner Saturdays (Serial Mom, Airplane!) and Screwball Sundays (Bringing Up Baby, My Man Godfrey). Slapstick (Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday, The Pink Panther Strikes Again) and Christmas Comedies (Trading Places, Elf) go hand in hand with Great British Smut (Carry On Cleo) and English Eccentrics (Withnail & I, The Belles of St Trinian’s). All that plus Fun With Nazis! too (To Be or Not to Be, The Producers).

FIPRESCI Again Honors Anderson

After Magnolia (2000) and There Will Be Blood (2008), Paul Thomas Anderson has become the first-ever filmmaker to win the FIPRESCI Grand Prix three times, as Phantom Thread was chosen best film of the past year. The 473 members of the International Federation of Film Critics selected Lucrecia Martel’sZama, Martin McDonagh'’s Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Pawel Pawlikowski’s Zimna Wojna (Cold War) as other worthy contenders.

As is tradition, the Grand Prix, which was first bestowed in 1999, will be presented on Sept. 21 during the opening ceremony of the San Sebastián International Film Festival.

Taormina Fest Focuses on Social Issues

One is hard-pressed in a trade publication to highlight (yet) more film-festival winners that may never see the light of commercial (art-house) cinemas. So, we won’t, and will write about something else instead.

Italy’s Taormina Filmfest  has certainly one of the most spectacular—if not the most and, at 2,300 years, certainly oldest—locations for its film screenings. Your columnist has never been there, but envies his parents for visiting the magnificent 5,000-seat outdoor Greek Theatre with the German division of CICAE many, many years ago. (See the photo above.)

The 64th edition featured over 50 films including 14 world, 12 European and 10 Italian premieres. Equally impressive, the all-female jury, headed by president and producer Martha De Laurentiis, noted how many of those films spotlighted social issues including themes of human rights, feminism, bullying and social inclusion.

During its seven-day run, the festival welcomed a myriad of local and international special guests like Rupert Everett (Tauro d’Oro Awards for director of and actor in The Happy Prince), Richard Dreyfuss (Tauro d’Oro), Matthew Modine (Lifetime Achievement Award) and Terry Gilliam.

Vista Group Expands its Cineworld

Vista Group International calls its partner Cineworld Group a “global super-circuit.” And no wonder: It’s present in ten different territories with 792 sites and 9,542 screens (as of June 30). The world’s second-largest exhibition chain not only extended its existing relationship in the existing Cineworld territories in which Vista is licensed and installed—the U.K., Ireland and the USA—for five years, but also added a wider range of Vista Cinema products, as well as solutions from Movio, Numero and movieXchange Showtimes.

Kimbal Riley, Vista Group chief executive, is delighted. The “unique and compelling suite of offerings for global super-circuits […] is testament to our product, to our people, and to the trust that we have built with Cineworld over a long period of time. These are the foundations of this new contract.” Added Cineworld’s deputy chief executive officer, Israel Greidinger, “We have a longstanding relationship with Vista Group; their products and our collaborative engagement have delivered some outstanding innovation and excellent support for our global business. This new agreement will see us continue to build on that into the future.”