European Film Promotion selects new board

Columns

Members of European Film Promotion elected three new representatives to its seven-strong board of directors. Éva Vezér from Hungary (Magyar Filmunió) was re-elected EFP president, as The Netherlands’ Claudia Landsberger (head of EYE International, EYE Film Institute Netherlands) remained the organization’s VP. Christian Juhl Lemche (festival manager of feature films, Danish Film Institute) and Jaana Puskala (head of feature film promotion, Finnish Film Foundation) also saw their terms extended. The new representatives are Ivana Ivišić (international cooperation and promotion, Croatian Audiovisual Centre), Rafael Cabrera (marketing manager, ICAA - Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales, Spain) and Martin Schweighofer (managing director, Austrian Film Commission).

Renate Rose has been the managing director of EFP since its formation in 1997. During that time, membership increased from ten to 31 promotion and export organizations from 32 countries. Most recently, the EFP board sent a letter to José Manuel Barroso, president of the EU Commission, in support of the MEDIA program. Joining fellow trade organizations, ATC, CICAE, EAVE, EFA, Eurocinema, Europa Cinemas, Europa Distribution, EPC, FIAD FIAPF and UNIC, the appeal was “to continue the support of the European audiovisual industry after 2013, as we are certain that cuts to this program’s budget will strongly hurt the fragile film industry in Europe substantially and will weaken Europe’s cultural diversity.”

Kinepolis and Cineworld Post Results
U.K.-based Cineworld Group and pan-European Kinepolis Group announced their 2010 results. “We are delighted to have seen continued growth in revenues and profits,” noted Cineworld’s chief executive officer, Steve Wiener, about the “strategically eventful year” of “sometimes challenging circumstances.”

With an up box-office of £235.8 million (€273.8 mil., US$377.1 mil.) generating a market share of 26.2%, Cineworld was the number-one cinema operator in the U.K. despite 2.1% lower admissions at 47.2 million. Average ticket price increased from £4.71 to £4.99 (€5.79, US$7.98), with average spend per person ‘holding firm” at £1.73 (€2, US$2.77) and screen-advertising revenues up almost 21% to boot.

Similarly at Kinepolis, attendance was down (3%) while revenues rose (4.1%) to €239.2 million and profit (37.3%) to €28.1 million (US$329.45 and 38.7 mil., respectively). The key reasons are the company’s “customer experience-focused approach,” its “online media strategy and the breakthrough of 3D,” the Ghent, Belgium-based circuit noted. In-theatre sales, which include “revenue from the sale of drinks, snacks and retail in the cinema,” and business-to-business segment revenues grew as well. At the same time, “the further differentiation of the costs structure and efficiency-improving measures” contributed to a 14.5% growth in EBITDA (Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) to €66.5 million (US$91.59 mil.).

Cine Projects Technicolor 3D
Technicolor signed an agreement with Cine Project, one of Germany’s leading distributors and installers of analog film and digital-cinema equipment, to bring the “innovative solutions and pricing” of Technicolor 3D to Germany, Austria and Switzerland. “We have a very affordable technology solution that helps to bridge the gap to solve the current shortage of digital 3D screens,” noted Joe Berchtold, president of Technicolor’s Creative Services division. Currently there are more than 500 international screens equipped with the proprietary film-based split-lens system (www.technicolor3D.com). In addition to the three new markets, the European install base encompasses the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy.

Kinoton Bulks up Berlinale
The Germering, Germany-based cinema experts of Kinoton once again supplied their services and equipment to the Berlin Film Festival, including a tricky set-up at the main venue. With all the equipment needed for regular stage programs—the Berlinale Palast moonlights as Theater am Potsdamer Platz during the rest of the year—Kinoton had to make both a 35mm spool tower and a 2K digital-cinema projector fit.

The “tailored special version” of their SPT 5000 K tower was transformed into the base for the digital projector, while servers and accessories were placed into rack slots integrated within the pedestal. The spool tower is “as solid as a rock and runs with extraordinary smoothness,” Kinoton assured. “The projector is steady and free of vibrations.”

Strong Numbers for Berlin Fest
Speaking of the Berlinale, the fest called its sale of 300,000 tickets “fantastic,” and a sign “that the public is still keen on experiencing an 11-day cinematic journey in the festival’s movie theatres.” Interest on the professional front “remained undiminished” as well, with nearly 20,000 credentials issued to representatives from 116 countries, including approximately 3,900 media people.

Concurrently, the European Film Market 2011 (EFM) counted more than 6,900 industry participants from 90 countries during its ten days of deal-making. Participants included 1,532 international buyers and 400 exhibitors, organizers announced. More than 740 films, including 570 EFM premieres and 30 in stereoscopic 3D, received some 1,046 market showings at 38 screening facilities. The 62nd Berlin International Film Festival will be held Feb. 9-19, 2012.

PLF Adds New Dimension to Opera
Somerset, England-based Principal Large Format took the lead in bringing Georg Bizet’s legendary opera Carmen to RealD-equipped cinemas around the world. “Working hand-in-hand with the film crew from the start” enabled PLF “to craft a truly unique event that is as innovative cinematically as it is energetic and engaging musically, dramatically and theatrically.” Chief executive officer Phil Streather also reported that the hurdles one would expect with “such a cutting-edge project” were overcome and had the audiences “blown away” by the experience. “We, the film crew, the Royal Opera House and RealD are all delighted with the results.”

CinemaxX-imizes Meyer Sound
Germany’s leading chain, CinemaxX added another dimension to two of its “MaxXimum 3D” showcase houses in Berlin. Meyer Sound EXP “represents a quantum leap,” the media notes touted about the €200,000 investment (US$275.46 mil.). In line with corporate branding, “MaxXimum Sound” now features the Acheron 100 Screen Channel in the center and Acheron 80 models for right and left, supported by Acheron LF Extension speakers. On the sides, 20 HMS-10 models and six MM-4XP mini-speakers create “an exceptionally flexible surround system.”

The cinema experience is defined by the elements of sight and sound, CinemaxX chief executive Christian Gisy asserted. “By selecting Sony 4K projection last year, we did not compromise...and decided for the absolute highest picture quality. In our cooperation with Meyer Sound, we intend to set a new standard for sound as well.”

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