Live 4K World Cup screening makes history


While the World Cup runneth over, I begin this month’s column with two prime examples of soccer satisfaction at the cinema. With Sony 4K in the running and CinemaxX concession combos guaranteeing the best seat in the stadium-seated house, we also have a perfect match (no more puns after this!) to this issue’s focus on equipment, food and beverages.

In a “worldwide first” on July 4, celebrating soccer’s independence from America in the process, the quarter-final match streamed live in 4K from the Maracana stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to the Vue Cinema Westfield in London, England, which will later host the final game as well. Steve Knibbs, chief operating officer of Vue Entertainment, is “absolutely thrilled that we’re able to underpin the next chapter in live sports entertainment by playing host to ultra-high-definition screenings of the greatest sporting competition in the world.”

“The confirmation of these live transmissions to cinema represents another trail-blazing example of Sony’s end-to-end leadership in 4K,” noted David Bush, Sony Professional Solutions Europe’s head of marketing and business development. This video gives a good impression of the task at hand.

Capturing the action in Ultra HD with Sony’s F55 4K cameras, Sony partnered with IDC, Eutelsat and DSAT Cinema on the satellite feed and signal decoding to the SRX-R320 4K projection system. While noshing on food and drinks in the cinema foyer, guests could watch prior World Cup highlights on Sony Ultra HD 4K Bravia television sets before entering Screen 1 “in the only cinema in the entire world to have ever featured live 4K football coverage.”

Over in Germany, the Ks didn’t matter as much as the F&B. Starting with Germany vs. Portugal, CinemaxX theatres across the country offered live broadcasts of all group games with the German team—plus all the finals and the game for third place—free of charge. Up to five tickets per person were made available at box offices opening on game days. Those booking and buying the “FußballFanFood-Package” (original name) in advance for a mere €10.90 (US$14.80, representing a 20% savings on regular snack pricing) not only received a reserved seat but also two Warsteiner (0.5l beers), one large tray of nachos and two fan wristbands.

KINO! Comes to NYC
Industry, media and Manhattan movie lovers alike enjoyed the 2014 edition of KINO! Festival of German Films New York (June 13-19). After 35 years of successful collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), KINO! moved into more commercial quarters at Quad Cinemas in Manhattan, showcasing ten films (including five North American premieres) and a curated selection of “Next Generation” shorts right after the world premiere in Cannes. With a special focus on female filmmakers with four of their movies and the new generation of German cinema with three debuts, German Films’ managing director Mariette Rissenbeek thanked the independent expert jury for selecting a “young, modern program which the New York audiences have come to expect.”

The opening night provided an equally fresh take on that beloved but hitherto venerable museum ambiance. Director Christian Schwochow brought his compelling drama Westen to the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, after successful MoMA screenings of Novemberkind (November Child) and Die Unsichtbare (Cracks in the Shell) in years past. While this columnist’s favorite, the warmly touching and wonderfully entertaining Hanna’s Journey (watch the trailer here) is still looking for a U.S. home, Main Street Films will release West theatrically in the near future.

Back to the Future Breaks Records
With Back to the Future touted as their “most epic and detailed production to date,” Secret Cinema is reaping rewards for pioneering the “ultra-immersive” concept of “Live Cinema” by “introducing site-specific, immersive cultural experiences.” In just four hours, a world-record-breaking 42,000 tickets were sold for the July 24-August 10 event, with 34,000 tickets selling in the first 20 minutes and nearly 17,000 in the first four minutes after they went on sale on June 6. Look for the concept to go global in 2015.

Surveying the Global Market for Projectors added a new research report with “the most up-to-date market data,” both current and looking forward to 2018, for cinematographic cameras and projectors. In addition to the global statistics from 2007 to 2013, individual industry reports about Australia, China, France, Germany, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States are included. According to the publisher, these reports are “an invaluable resource for industry executives, marketing, sales and product managers, analysts, and other people looking for key industry data in readily accessible and clearly presented tables and graphs.”

dcinex Surpasses 3,000 VPFs

While on the subject of reporting and projecting, dcinex has some great numbers to share. With the recent digitization of 28 screens for Kinepolis Group in Spain, the pan-European facilitator of all things d-cinema has now deployed 3,009 VPF-financed digital projection systems across Europe. Serge Plasch, CEO and managing director of dcinex, was equally delighted about welcoming Kinepolis as a customer and about reaching the magic milestone, “which confirms dcinex’s leading VPF position in Europe. Moving forward, we will continue the deployment in Turkey, Greece and in the Balkan region.”

Turkey’s Cinema Tickled Pink
Speaking of Turkey, Dolby Atmos and Sony Europe have unveiled a dazzling video about CINEMApink Akmerkez in Istanbul, Turkey. FJI featured the imaginative designs of this enterprising chain as part of April’s international “Class of 2013," and Sony Europe’s director of d-cinema sales, Oliver Pasch, tweeted via YouTube: “This tells it all. Probably the best cinema in Europe!"