European and Asian Film Academies form an alliance


In time for their respective fifth and 24th annual award ceremonies on Nov. 24 and Dec. 3, and to make a perfect lead-in to this column, the Asia Pacific Screen Academy (APSA, and the European Film Academy (EFA, forged an alliance that will see the two organizations further collaborate.

On the occasion, APSA chairman Des Power thanked EFA for generously sharing two decades of experience “in presenting a major awards program and ceremony to acclaim the work of filmmakers from a culturally diverse region [when] we first contemplated APSA some seven years ago.” EFA director Marion Döring welcomed “a partner facing similar challenges and joys that such initiatives bring.”

Kinoton Conquers Busan’s Giant Screen
The 16th Busan International Film Festival inaugurated its ultramodern new Cinema Center with some 200,000 tickets issued. On the 35mm projection front, the US$150 million mega-project features German Kinoton technology. In addition to the 840- and 400-seat main auditoriums and two 200-seat screening rooms, the Cinema Center also has an outdoor venue with seating for no less than 4,000 people.

To light up its 24 by 13 m (79 x 42 ft.) pearl-white open-air screen, Kinoton Korea set up the company’s FP 25 D film projector with an 8,000W Gigalight lamphouse. Between shows, Kinoton notes that a special cover “shelters it from the weather to preserve its high reflectivity.” Inside, another two FP 25 D and two FP 30 D projectors capable of changeover projection were installed, with Kinoton spool towers and nonrewinding systems.

European Films Take Promo Bow
For the fourth consecutive year, Hamburg, Germany-based European Film Promotion brought a dozen films to Los Angeles that were submitted by member countries for consideration in the Foreign Language Film category of the 2012 Academy Awards. This year, a total of 63 countries sent their best to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Timed during the American Film Market and showing at the Wilshire Screening Room in Beverly Hills (, the fully MEDIA Programme-funded initiative aims “to give these entries maximum exposure during this decisive time in Los Angeles,” organizers noted, “and to attract the kind of awards season attention which often leads to wide international distribution.”

Bon Anniversaire, CNC!
Created by French law on Oct. 25, 1946, the Centre national de la cinématographie (CNC) celebrated its 65th birthday by launching a special history section on its website. Among the many changes that reflect the continued expansion of what le cinéma has come to include is the agency’s officially renaming as Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée in July 2009.

Congratulations, Cineplex!
No less than eight member cinemas of Germany’s Cineplex group of independent exhibitors received awards for their exceptional art-house programming. The annual recognition is accorded by the BKM (ministry of culture and media) and includes special citations for children’s and youth programming, documentaries and short films. In 2011, the prize budget in support of specialized theatrical exhibition is 1.5 million euros (US$2.04 million).

The second news item at Cineplex involves quite a bit more money. The vast majority of its 25 owners, who represent more than 460 screens at 85 Kinos overall, signed agreements for their digital deployment of 423 screens with Ymagis. Each one of the 73 Kinocenter has selected DCI-compliant projectors and equipment from various manufacturers, but they will all retain the latest Ymagis Theater Central Server to assure a single and secure infrastructure among their locations.

Installation and maintenance come from the companies that the exhibitors use already, including CineProject, FTT Rüttgers and Kinoton, as well as from Ymagis Engineering Services. Kim Ludolf Koch, managing director of Cineplex Holdings GmbH, stressed the importance of being able “to keep our existing relationships with service providers even as part of a third-party agreement.”

After France, where 900 of a contracted 1,000 screens have been converted already and almost 500 in Spain, more than 550 screens under contract now make Ymagis the market leader in Germany as well. Koch also noted that the 160 digital systems already operating at Cineplex would be moved into the Ymagis financing package, with the balance to be installed over the next few months.

Cinesa/UCI Sounding Good
Ernst Lubitsch coined the phrase MOS or “mitout sound.” And Barcelona, Spain-based imm Sound made the latest 3D immersive sound part of its name and program. Cinesa/UCI has come on board to install imm Sound surround systems in its key cinemas across Italy, Germany and Spain. Becoming part of the iSense-branded large-format auditoriums, Cinesa/UCI opted for a 24-channel configuration. The “most spectacular sound available in the market today,” says imm Sound’s president, Vicente López, is “totally adapted to the digital age, allowing for maximum sound quality of the projections and adaptable to the characteristics of any theatre.”

Toasting Film Preservation
Expressing our very best wishes for 2012 to you and yours, this column concludes with a toast to film preservation.

Instead of uncorking the bubbly, how about ringing in the holidays with Louis XIII Grande Champagne Cognac? After all, the House of Remy Martin will support The Film Foundation’s 2012 preservation activities, as well as providing additional support and participation at exclusive events. Jennifer Ahn, the Foundation’s managing director, called the funding “True Genius” program “a great opportunity to highlight some of the important films we’re helping to restore, some of which were created a century ago and will still be there a century from now. Just like Louis XIII Cognac.”

“Much like the time, finesse and care it takes to create a rare, luxurious spirit such as Louis XIII, so does film preservation,” added global marketing manager Augustin Depardon. “Film is at the heart of the American and French culture and both mediums require a high degree of talent and craftsmanship to maintain.” We’ll toast to that.

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