Fullwhite video projection screen goes to the edge

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European Update

Making its North American debut at InfoComm 2015 in June, Wallern, Austria-based AV Stumpfl presented the “robust design and functionality” of its Fullwhite video projection screens. They are “designed with architects and designers in mind,” noted commercial director Tobias Stumpfl. “Because the screen uses a 45-degree angle frame, its interior structure is completely hidden.”

While cinema screens have masking–at least until we have more “floating” designs again, as evidenced within a Dolby Cinema–this application appears like a great match for theatre lobbies. “If a screen is flown in and out in front of an audience,” Stumpfl explained, “they will experience a true seamless picture. Multiple Fullwhite screens can be connected together to form cubes or other structures including real-time tracked and moving projection surfaces.”

For now, the largest Fullwhite screen installed in the Benelux can be found at AED Studios in Belgium. The Barco Virtual World studio uses a 90-meter-long (295 feet) Fullwhite screen in 360-degree configuration to create a unique full HD experience.

FIAF Celebrates Bastille Day

As I write this column on the Fourth of July, the next big revolution is already on the horizon. In addition to its fun French fête activities on 60th Street in Manhattan, French Institute/Alliance Française (FIAF, www.fiaf.org) smartly programmed the July 14 screening in its CinéSalon with Gérard Depardieu as the titular “Danton” (1983). The passions that instigated the French Revolution come to life in Andrzej Wajda’s film, shown as part of the series “Jean-Claude Carrière: Writing the Impossible.”

JT Cinema Aligns with AAM

Following up on last month’s feature highlighting Dolby Cinema at JT Eindhoven, the Dutch circuit has now centralized operations with Arts Alliance Media’s Producer enterprise software. From one point at its head office in Amersfoort, the 81-year-old bioscoopketen will status-monitor in real time and manage all content, KDMs, advertising and trailer pre-shows, and related reporting across 20 sites.

Gerrit Doorn, chief development officer of JT Cinema, said this is “going to completely change our operations, making it much easier… The automation Producer provides is going to enable our playlists to practically build themselves.”

Ymagis and Partners Support Barco Alchemy

Barco has announced the compatibility with the Barco Alchemy cinema projector range of theatre management systems (TMS) provided by Ymagis Group (servicing more than 7,200 screens across Europe), Ciné Digital Service (6,000 screens in France) and Proyecson (over 600 screens in Spain).

Calling Alchemy, “a major leap forward in digital-cinema technology,” Barco added that these projectors combine the functionalities of an Integrated Cinema Media Processor (ICMP) and a media server into a single and “cost-effective” unit. Noted senior product manager Tom Bert, Sr., “We have come another step closer to our objective: making cinema operations increasingly simple and reliable, around the world.”

UCI Driving up to Mercedes Platz

UCI Kinowelt announced that they will be operating 14 screens and some 2,500 seats at the newly developing Mercedes Platz in Berlin, Germany. With a targeted opening in 2018, developer Anschutz Entertainment Group signed the agreement with Odeon-/UCI Group to become the first anchor tenant for what has been described as the heart of the dynamic new quarter of the city’s East-Side Gallery. The multiplex will take up more than 6,500 square meters (70,000 sq. ft.) on two levels.

Euro Academy Climbs Odessa Stairs

During the Odessa International Film Festival in Ukraine (July 10-18), the European Film Academy (EFA) bestowed its latest “Treasure of European Film Culture” recognition to the Baltic Sea city’s Potemkin Stairs. Ninety years ago, Sergei Eisenstein made them famous with his masterly montage in Battleship Potemkin. With this honorary title, EFA “wishes to raise public awareness for places of a symbolic nature for European cinema, places of historical value that need to be maintained and protected.”

Following the Eisenstein Memorial and Bergman centers (in Moscow, Russia, and Farø, Sweden), the house of the brothers Lumière (Lyon, France) and The World of Tonino Guerra (Pennabilli, Italy), the Potemkin Stairs are the fifth such place of cinematic significance. Since its foundation in 1910, the Odessa Film Festival has hosted open-air screenings of international film classics accompanied by live music. This year, Michael Nyman will conduct his score for Dziga Vertov’s Man with a Movie Camera (1929).

Attractions Address DSM

As the film and media industries continue to debate the potential merits and pitfalls of the Digital Single Market (DSM) across Europe (see our June and July columns), parks and attractions operators are looking for ways of “Making the Digital Single Market Work for Tourism.” For the launch of “IAAPA Europe’s Digital Skills Network” on June 30 in Brussels, Belgium, the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions was joined by key members of the European Commission. The event was addressed by Carlo Corazza (head of Unit for Tourism, Emerging and Creative Industries at the European Commission) and featured a keynote from the European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, Günther H. Oettinger.

For their upcoming Euro Attractions Show Oct. 6-8 in Gothenburg, Sweden, IAAPA Europe will welcome none other than Björn Ulvaeus. The co-founder and former member of famed music group ABBA is invited to “discuss storytelling as it relates to entertainment and possessing and working with intellectual property, an issue increasingly significant within the attractions industry.”

The annual get-together is the real-world, classic equivalent of what the Digital Skills Network (DSN) attempts to promote online. Namely, and just like our industry conventions, that is to learn and to exchange best practice and expertise. Karen Staley, senior VP of IAAPA Europe, called the DSN a “chance for all those involved in digital across every aspect of operations to connect, share and learn.”

Sundance Supports Future Frames

In support of European Film Promotion (EFP) presenting the works of ten students and graduates from film schools across Europe, Sundance Channel has stepped in as sponsor of Future Frames at the 50th Anniversary Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (July 5-7, Czech Republic). “Future Frames’ vision of supporting young directors resonates with our mission to celebrate creativity through independent filmmaking,” said Gail Gendler, VP of acquisitions at Sundance Channel Global. The channel has been available in the Czech Republic and Slovakia since 2011. For more information about the initiative, visit www.efp-online.com/en/project_talent_promotion/future_frames.php.