Germany's Kinoton expands website to offer downloads and useful information

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The sight and sound experts at Germany’s Kinoton GmbH recently added a new option under the support section of www.kinoton.com, which features downloads and detailed information. According to company CEO Christoph Dobler, the “My.Kinoton” portal is intended “to strengthen our position as a comprehensive system integrator and service provider.” It features a full range of choices for d-cinema, film technology and Kinoton’s exclusive Litefast 360° displays.

Kinoton customers, sales partners and service technicians can access what the company calls an “individualized range” of relevant spare-parts catalogues, product and service manuals, along with configuration and diagnosis software. D-cinema customers can even register the hardware and software parameters of their Kinoton DCP projectors with their corresponding certificates.

According to DCI specifications, as Kinoton explains, “every d-cinema projector has to be delivered with an electronic certificate, a kind of digital serial number any projector can be clearly identified by. Every time certain projector key components are modified or exchanged, such as the circuit boards or the light engine, the digital certificate has to be changed accordingly.”

Europeans Play Games
Over 60% of residents in each major Western country play computer and videogames, according to a 2009 study by research firm TNS and game-business consultant Newzoo, the U.S.-based Entertainment Software Association announced. Videogame consoles were the most popular way to play in the U.S., the United Kingdom and France, while Germans preferred to engage on the PC and online portals were king in Belgium and the Netherlands. Nielsen Games further noted that videogame console usage in June 2009 was up by 21% over 2008, with a total of 12.8 hours for the average player. That marks the highest monthly usage on record.

Venice Displays Digital Darwinism
Since its creation in 2000, Digital Darwin (aka d2) has been active in the distribution, installation and maintenance of post-production technology and digital-cinema projection in Belgium and Italy. Owing to the company’s success at the 2008 event, the Venice International Film Festival (Sept. 2-12) selected d2 as their official digital-cinema partner once again this year. “Our aim is to put on the screen the intent of the story’s creator and ensure the highest quality,” noted Luigi Cuciniello, managing director of the Cinema Department of La Biennale di Venezia.

Under the guidance of managing director James Troch, d2 is the European distributor of d-cinema technologies of Indo-American Qube Cinema Inc. and France’s Dvidea (www.d2cinema.com, www.d2.eu). For the 66th edition of la Mostra, d2 deployed its own technology alongside Qube and Barco.

World’s Oldest Cinema Still a Pioneer
On Sept. 26, the world’s oldest and longest-running movie house, the Kino Pionier, celebrated its 100th anniversary in the Polish city of Szczecin on the Baltic coast. When the Helios opened its doors in 1909 (the local four-plex now has that name), its hometown Stettin was still part of Germany. Within an hour’s drive northeast of Berlin, Jerzy Miskiewicz, owner and operator since 1999, didn’t know about the history until it closed for renovations. “I went to the city archives and found well-preserved documents about the cinema,” he told Deutsche Welle. “There is no older cinema in the world.” And he has the Guinness Book of World Records certificate to prove it.

After three years of transforming a “ramshackle building with just a dozen rickety wooden chairs and a stove heater,” these days Miskiewicz is particularly proud of the theatre’s second room. Playing on the Polish words for “cinema” (kino) and “café” (kawiarnia), the Kinarnia has a small bar, round tables and a projector set up in the middle. Next to the screen sits a piano that’s used to accompany silent films. With its art-house programming, Kino Pionier is now part of Europe Cinemas.

“There aren't a lot of old things in Szczecin,” said Miskiewicz. “It’s great that there’s something like this here. And it should get more attention.” Happy to oblige.

Frankfurt Film Museum to Expand
Twenty-five years ago, the Deutsche Filmmuseum opened as the first of several new cultural institutions on the River Main in Frankfurt, Germany. With more than 140,000 visitors each year, it is one of the region’s top attractions. Museum board members, administrators and city officials recently introduced the far-reaching plans for “Das neue Filmmuseum.”

On the drawing boards since the museum’s integration with the German Film Institute DIF in 2006, the entire building will be renovated and reconfigured—including a 30% increase in spaces for the public, new cinema technologies and permanent exhibit designs—to the tune of €13 million (US$18.54 million). The work is expected to take 18 months, with different departments closing down and temporarily relocating in view of a festive reopening in April 2011.

Ruhr Region Reigns in Euro Awards
December 11 and 12, 2009 mark the dates for the 22nd Annual European Film Awards. In recognition of the European Capital of Culture, RUHR.2010, the European Film Academy selected two of the 20 cities in this region of 10 million people as the showcase for the best of the year. The weekend program takes places at two historical venues: Germany’s largest movie theatre, the Lichtburg in Essen, will host a film festival on Friday, followed on Saturday by the awards ceremony at the Jahrhunderthalle, a former gas power station for the steel mills in the city of Bochum. The events are supported by the Minister President and the Minister for Federal and European Affairs and the Media of North Rhine-Westphalia, Filmstiftung NRW, RUHR.2010, the German State Minister for Culture and the Media, the MEDIA Programme of the EU, FFA German Federal Film Board, and TNT Express.

Cardiff Selected to Host EAVE

The Film Agency for Wales will present the European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs (EAVE) annual road show Nov. 16-22. Representing some 28 countries, 100 of “Europe’s filmmaking elite will be in Cardiff for a week of high-profile workshops, networking, screenings and associated events,” the agency promises, “meeting the cream of Welsh filmmaking talent to explore co-production and international filmmaking opportunities.” For more information, visit www.filmagencywales.com.

Córdoba Welcomes Digital Devotees
As part of the 5th International Animation Festival of Córdoba (www.Animacor.com), from Oct. 30 to Nov. 3, organizers have put together their very first Fair of Innovation, Video Games and Digital Entertainment. Over 6,000 “professionals and fans of the digital world” are expected to attend and see the latest developments—and play in the official videogame tournaments. Animators, graphic designers, developers, programmers, simulation specialists, creators of virtual worlds, distributors and marketing and communications specialists will create a “global fair” in the Spanish city.

E-mail news and comments for Andreas Fuchs to Kevin.Lally@nielsen.com.