Leading cinema operators launch global trade body

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Cinemas News

The world’s leading cinema operators today announced the establishment of the Global Cinema Federation, a worldwide grouping intended to represent cinema exhibition’s global interests.

Cinema-going today is a global phenomenon, with growing annual box-office returns of $38.6 billion increasingly evenly spread across the world. With the rapid development of the industry in Latin America, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region, the operators involved recognize the extent to which the business opportunities and policy challenges they face—such as film theft, technology standards, theatrical release practices, international trade practices and the valued relationship with partners in film distribution—are shared by counterparts across territories.

To address these issues and raise the profile of cinema with global regulatory bodies and industry partners, eleven leading cinema operators and the two most internationally active trade bodies have come together to found the Global Cinema Federation, a federation of interests intended to inform, educate and advocate on behalf of the sector worldwide.

Welcoming today’s announcement, Cinépolis CEO Alejandro Ramirez Magaña, chair of the cross-industry Global Working Group, which developed plans for the establishment of the grouping, commented: “This is an exciting time for cinemas and their business partners all around the world as the industry enters a new era of global collaboration and ongoing innovation. We decided to establish the Global Cinema Federation to give our industry a much stronger global voice in this new landscape and will in the coming months actively reach out to leading operators and their trade bodies around the world to establish an inclusive organization that is able to speak on behalf of a large share of the global cinema exhibition community.”

Founding operator members of the group are AMC, Cinemark, Cineplex, Cinépolis, Cineworld, CJ-CGV, Event Cinemas, Les Cinemas Gaumont Pathé, Regal Entertainment Group, Vue International and Wanda Cinemas. The founding trade associations are the National Association of Theatre Owners (NATO) and the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC). Between them, these companies and organizations have interests in more than 90 territories.

While further work continues on the formulation of policy positions and working procedures within the group, the founding members have organized an initial gathering—including a wide range of other leading operators—at this week’s CineEurope in Barcelona, Spain. Similar gatherings with key parties will be held at CineAsia, CinemaCon and at further trade events around the world.

The founding members of the Federation will in the coming weeks work to formalize policy positions in—and establish the nature of the organization’s role with regard to—a number of key areas. The latter might involve education and/or advocacy depending on the nature of the issue.

Members identified the following issues as possible priorities:

·         Movie theft

·         Theatrical exclusivity

·         Music rights payments

·         Accessibility and related regulations

·         Relationship with major studios and the wider creative community

·         Technology and standards

·         International trade and foreign investment

Alongside the founding members—who initially will form the governing body of the organization—it is anticipated that membership will be extended to those larger global cinema operators with at least 250 screens, as well as to national cinema exhibition trade bodies, resulting in an overall group that speaks on behalf of a significant majority of those making up the global exhibition sector.

Operators below the 250-screen threshold will be able to join the initiative in order to remain informed and support campaigning on key issues.

While the Federation is not currently envisaged as one where members pay subscriptions, all founding organizations have committed to support its day-to-day work by contributing the time of senior executive management.

To obtain further information about the Global Cinema Federation, contact Eduardo Acuña Shaadi (eacuna@cinepolis.com), head of Americas at Cinépolis, Jackie Brenneman (jeb@natoca.com), counsel and director of industry relations at NATO, or Guillaume Branders (gbranders@unic-cinemas.org), industry relations manager at UNIC. A web destination and further contact details will be established in the coming months.