Alternative content to grow 150% by 2015

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According to a new report by analysts Dodona Research, moviegoers worldwide spent $162 million in 2010 attending non-film events in cinemas, with more than half that figure generated in the United States. While business and worship events accounted for $28 million there, worldwide “the biggest success story so far” has been opera, “thanks to the commitment and energy with which New York’s Metropolitan Opera and its distributor, BY Experience, have approached the market.” Dodona sees this as exemplary and argues that “more focus and structure is exactly what this market needs if it is to fulfill its potential.”

Dodona forecasts that the alternative-content market as a whole will reach a value of $400 million by 2015. According to report author Melissa Keeping, “The final shape of this industry won’t become clear until it passes the billion-dollar mark, but on the plus side, that’s almost certainly coming before the decade is out.”

Euro Film Promotion Chooses Lemche

In Hamburg, Germany, Christian J. Lemche, festival manager for feature films at the Danish Film Institute (DFI), was elected as European Film Promotion’s (EFP) new president. “I very much look forward to collaborating with all of the EFP members on the continued promotion of European films. Even during difficult times, we must not forget to nurture our arts and culture,” he noted as Denmark prepares to take on the presidency of the EU. Lemche is the project manager for all related activities of the DFI.

Denmark has been a strong supporter of EFP since its foundation in 1997 with financial support by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union, its member organizations, and public and private sponsors (www.efp-online.com). The number of participating countries has since tripled to 30 from all across Europe. In addition to Lemche (fourth from left in the photo above), the EFP board is comprised of (l-r) Martin Schweighofer, CEO, Austrian Film Commission; Mariette Rissenbeek, managing director, German Films; EFP managing director Renate Rose; Rafael Cabrera, marketing manager, ICAA-Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales, Spain; Jaana Puskala, head of feature film promotion, Finnish Film Foundation; Claudia Landsberger, head of EYE International, eye Film Institute Netherlands; and Ivana Ivisic, international cooperation and promotion, Croatian Audiovisual Centre (not pictured).

Gaumont Pathé Adding RealD Screens
On Dec. 13, RealD and Les Cinémas Gaumont Pathé extended their exclusive and circuit-wide agreement for an additional 100 3D systems. Signed in 2009, the original deal resulted in some 500 screens currently equipped with RealD 3D across theatres in France (73 cinemas/740 screens), The Netherlands (22/157) and Switzerland (10/70). In 2010, the Gaumont Pathé theaters counted 67.7 million admissions in Europe.

New Leadership for Media Salles
Following its December meeting in Amsterdam, the executive committee of MEDIA Salles appointed noted Italian film industry veteran Luigi Grispello as president of the European cinema support agency. Tero Koistinen from Finland was elected VP and Mike Vickers from the U.K. will serve as treasurer. (Good to know that in the cinema business, Britain takes on a financial role for Europe.) Ron Sterk, director of NVB (Nederlandse Vereniging Van Bioscoopexploitanten), the Dutch exhibitors’ association, was welcomed.

The NVB and EYE Film Institute will be supporting MEDIA Salles’ ninth annual d-cinema training course. “DigiTraining Plus: European Cinemas Experiencing New Technologies” takes place August 29 to Sept. 2 in Amsterdam.

FIPRESCI Has Scope

Online B2B platform Festival Scope, which allows programming from “more than 60 of the most prestigious international film festivals” to be viewed online on demand, introduced a new “Labels” section, aimed at “providing additional visibility to the films awarded in festivals or selected by partner organizations.” The first dedicated page will present a selection of films that have been honored by the International Federation of Film Critics (www.fipresci.org).

“Our aim is not only to present, at festivals, the critics’ prize to the films we like,” noted general secretary Klaus Eder. “We also wish to help them get a bigger audience.” Alessandro Raja, founder of Festival Scope, added that more partnerships would be announced soon. “We are thrilled…and equally proud to start with the very prestigious FIPRESCI.”

Berlinale Goes Green and Sees Red
Nothing better to ring in the New Year than a good resolution. Together, the Berlin International Filmfestspiele and Germany’s second largest supplier of green electricity, ENTEGA, are taking a variety of measures to make the Berlinale more climate-friendly.

Beginning last year, the entire power supply of the festival offices was switched to green energy, reducing harmful emissions by about 12%. Additional reductions came from merchandising and catering as well as in reducing paper consumption, the organization noted. On the drawing board for 2012-13 are changes to transport and logistics that were marked for optimization after analyzing the 2011 festival flow and go. To offset their business travel, for instance, the staff is supporting diverse forestry projects. Furthermore, www.berlinale.de will enable festival visitors to calculate their CO2 emission caused by traveling to Berlin and compensate by purchasing a certificate to Forest Carbon Group.

Highlighting another color, the retrospective of the 62nd Festival is dedicated to The Red Dream Factory, showing rediscovered films from a German-Russian film studio. Between 1922 and 1935, Mezhrabpom-Film and Berlin-based Prometheus produced some 600 films. Founded by Moisei Aleinikov, a Russian film expert and producer from tsarist times, and Willi Münzenberg, a German communist and “red media entrepreneur,” the venture combined “clever business ideas, a political mission and boundless enthusiasm for new cinematic narratives,” organizers feel.

In addition to many classics like Vsevolod Pudovkin’s The End of St. Petersburg and Storm over Asia, “the studio focused on topics revolving around people’s everyday lives,” said Rainer Rother, head of the Retrospective and artistic director of the Deutsche Kinemathek-Museum für Film und Fernsehen. “Artistically sophisticated films from all kinds of genres thrilled international audiences and inspired the entire European film avant-garde.”

Some 30 programs of over 40 silent and sound films were curated in cooperation with Gosfilmofond (Moscow) and the Russian State Documentary Film & Photo Archive at Krasnogorsk, the (German) Federal Archives/Department Film Archives, the Cinémathèque de Toulouse, Munich Filmmuseum, the Austrian Film Museum in Vienna, and The Museum of Modern Art’s Department of Film.

E-mail news items for Andreas Fuchs to kevin.lally@filmjournal.com.