Digital Cinema Media enjoys the Vue

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Digital Cinema Media (DCM), the screen-advertising joint venture between Cineworld Group  and Odeon Cinemas, entered into contract with Vue Entertainment  to provide their services. Beginning in January 2011, all existing arrangements for Vue’s 657 screens and 68 locations will have expired. DCM also covers cinema screens of Picturehouse, Reel Cinemas, Electric Cinema and the British Film Institute. Steve Wiener, Cineworld’s chief executive officer, concluded, “DCM is driving innovation within the U.K. cinema-advertising sector and this contract will reinforce the Group’s reputation within the industry.”

Christie Supports IBC
RAI Amsterdam is not only the host venue to Cinema Expo, but also to IBC, “the leading international forum for the electronic media industry.” While IBC2010 featured many of the companies that keep our industry technologically moving—3ality, ARRI, Dolby, Doremi, Harkness, RealD, Texas Instruments DLP and QSC, to name a few—Christie Digital continued in its “role as official supporter of the IBC ‘Big Screen Experience,’ providing advanced digital projection technology for movie screenings, conference sessions and technology demonstrations.” The latter included the “the first and only 4K DLP digital-cinema projector, the Christie CP4230…designed to be compliant with the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI) specification.”

The IBC Big Screen is presented in the same 1,700-capacity auditorium that CEI attendees have come to enjoy. Total attendance for IBC2010 was 48,521, up 8.7% from last year, organizers reported, making it the second-biggest in history. IBC2011 is scheduled for September 8-13.

FTT Enters Belgium
Düsseldorf, Germany-based Film-Ton-Technik Rüttgers continues to expand its cinema services. After launching branches in Poland, The Netherlands, Austria and Hungary, FTT recently opened an office in Liège, Belgium, in partnership with Professional Cinema Sound of Serge Lambillotte. Further support for clients in Belgium and Luxemburg comes from Till Cussmann, who in 2006 and 2007 acted as XDC’s business-development manager for the German-speaking markets. “Having pooled our forces with XDC at the beginning of the year, this new branch is the corollary to be able to offer customized services in our core segments,” noted Thomas Rüttgers.

In partnership with AV Media, FTT also formed a new company, FTT Cinemedia, based in Prague, and teamed with Magicview to create FTT Digital Cinema, based in Bucharest, Romania.

Independently, XDC and Rising Alternative signed an agreement for digital mastering and distribution logistical services for the latter’s alternative-content programs.

France Favors All Digital
The Centre National du Cinéma is setting out to help in the digital conversion of some 1,000 screens across France. On the list for potential subsidies—in conjunction with other sources including regional support and distributors—are cinemas with up to three screens that are likely to have less turnaround of films and consequently a harder time attracting virtual print fee funding.

“We want to make sure that within two or three years, all cinemas, including small and medium-sized ones, will be properly equipped to stay competitive and reap some of the benefits of 3D entertainment,” Guillaume Blanchot, head of multimedia and new technologies, told Variety. 3D equipment will not be supported, however. Last month, France counted some 930 digital screens at 298 theatres, with another 4,470 left to go.

Russia Demands Recounts
According to trade reports, the Russian government is in the process of evaluating whether a centralized computer system is needed to report box-office sales more correctly. Paul Heth, chief executive officer of KinoStar, who uses Rentrak for reporting, is in favor of the “transparency” the proposal will encourage. Distributors can tell what is going on, he told Variety, “by looking at comparative box-office figures and really ought to do more to police this themselves.”

Beverly Hills Welcomes Berlinale Bergman

Celebrating the career and personal life of the legendary director, “Ingmar Bergman: Truth and Lies” had its world premiere at Oscar’s home rather than cozying up with the Golden Bear. Prior to the European debut at the Deutsche Kinemathek—Museum für Film und Fernsehen during the 2011 Berlin International Film Festival, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) had first dibs in Beverly Hills.

“The Bergman Foundation in Stockholm has granted unprecedented access to Bergman’s personal papers, allowing for an in-depth examination,” AMPAS notes about the joint production. “The exhibition’s film projections and specially created montages will allow the visitor to delve into the full range of his work, from his earliest films to his major international successes. Original scripts, notebooks, film schedules, sketches, posters, photographs and other paper materials will be accompanied by items such as set models and costumes.”

Bergman received nine Oscar nominations for writing, directing or producing, and was presented with the Academy’s Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1970. The Virgin Spring, Through a Glass Darkly and Fanny & Alexander won Foreign Language Film awards.

Europe Selects Film Favorites
While 296 members of the International Federation of Film Critics have honored The Ghost Writer with their Grand Prix 2010 as Best Film, the European Film Academy (EFA) launched its search for the fan favorite. Until the end of October, moviegoers can express their People’s Choice at www.europeanfilmawards.eu and receive a chance to win a trip to the 23rd European Film Awards on Dec. 4 in the Estonian capital of Tallinn on the Baltic coast.

Winners in the past have included Volver, La vita e bella, Amélie and Slumdog Millionaire. Nominated this year are 11 titles, from Agora and An Education to Kick-Ass, Le Petit Nicolas, The Girl Who Played with Fire and Soul Kitchen (Fatih Akin was a previous winner for Head-On). In an agreement between public and critics, FIPRESCI-favored The Ghost Writer also made the list.

At the same time, the 2,300 EFA members are mulling over whom to nominate. To facilitate that effort, the official pre-selection process garnered 46 films for consideration. Each one of the 20 countries with the most EFA members voted for one title each. A special selection committee of EFA board members and five “experts” then completed the list. “With 32 countries represented,” EFA stated, “the list once again illustrates the great diversity in European cinema.”

Please e-mail news and comments for Andreas Fuchs to kevin.lally@filmjournal.com.