German Films are showcased in China

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European Update

On the occasion of CineAsia, let’s kick off this month’s column by highlighting the fifth Festival of German Films, which takes place Nov. 10-27 in four Chinese cities. Even though the local screen count grew from 6,200 to 41,000 over the past six years, the Munich, Germany-based organizers noted how “the market is highly competitive, especially for foreign films. So, it’s really important to offer the local audience a chance to become acquainted with German filmmaking.”

Since the inception, about 5,000 guests have attended the showings each year and have been of a “remarkably young average age,” German Films revealed. The 2017 event is presenting 15 films in Beijing, Chengdu, Shenzhen and Nanjing. Not only featuring “box-office hits and international festival successes,” but also offering “a wide range of themes presented in an original and often unusual way,” the lineup includes a silent film with live music (Chui Wan for Ewald André Dupont’s Varieté, 1925) and a special student showcase. Filmmakers and actors are in attendance as well. The festival's partners are Broadway Cinemas, UCCA, Institut Français and China Film Archive.

ICTA Invites Guests to Munich

“The European cinema industry is changing rapidly, meeting new guest preferences and embracing cutting-edge technological innovations.” On behalf of the recently elected international directors of the International Cinema Technology Association—Thomas Rüttgers, Oliver Pasch, Till Cussmann—ICTA executive director Jan Runge is looking forward to the fourth ICTA Seminar during the Munich (Germany) Film Week.

Members of the ICTA invite industry stakeholders “to explore current trends in the cinema business, learn about new innovations in cinema technology and network with senior industry executives,” Runge writes. The lineup for presentations and discussions covers “International Innovation Trends,” including EGaming/ESports, HDR, Wide Color Gamut, Cinema Software 2.0, Laser Projection, LED/Direct-View displays, E-Delivery and more. For more information about the Jan. 16, 2018 event at Mathäser Filmpalast, visit the ICTA website

Event Cinema on Vue

On Dec. 6, the Event Cinema Association (ECA) will host its “Slate Day” at the Vue West End in London, England’s Leicester Square, presenting highlights and preview presentations of upcoming product. “Back in June in Barcelona, we tried a small version of this slate presentation and the feedback was nothing but positive,” noted ECA managing director Melissa Cogavin. “We are really happy to be dedicating a whole morning to this concept with the help of our friends and fellow board members at Vue.”

Cogavin’s shout-out goes to board member Johnny Carr, who is alternative-content manager at Vue. “Our association with the Event Cinema Association is part of a larger mission at Vue,” he said, intended “to grow the event cinema sector, as we believe it to be an increasingly vital element of exhibition. We are delighted to be working with the ECA to help spread the word of all the great content out there for venues to see for themselves for the first time.”

RealD Rolls Out Largest Ultimate Screen

Located in Oslo, Norway, the Colosseum Cinema was subject to “one of the most prestigious and exciting projects Nordisk Film Kino has ever launched.” According to the media release, the grand auditorium, which also happens to be the largest in the country “has been stripped and given the dramatic look it deserves.” This includes recliner chairs, rows with luxurious armchairs, a new laser projector and Europe’s largest “Ultimate Screen,” powered by RealD. With that comes “unparalleled 3D visuals with brighter and sharper images for a fully immersive cinema experience,” promises Roger Harris, managing director at RealD Europe.

Jannicke Haugen, chief executive officer at Nordisk Kino, explains how “many Norwegians have a special relationship with the cinema’s largest theatre… Cinemagoers describe the combination of the screen with the spectacular dome above as an experience in itself, and have given clear feedback this is Norway’s best movie theatre. Well, now it’s getting even better.”

Further south in Lübeck, Germany, a good deal just got better too. Country market leader CineStar (430 screens and 53 locations) and RealD renewed their long-term partnership for 3D projection equipment and glasses. CineStar just opened multiplexes in Neumünster and at the Atrium in Weimar. On the opening front for 2018 are new locations in Augsburg, Remscheid and Freising. CineStar is currently the only European exhibitor to equip every single one of their cinema auditoriums with RealD equipment, the partners confirmed.

“It has always been our goal to create the best possible 3D experience for our consumers and we can’t think of a better partner than RealD,” Oliver Fock, CineStar’s managing director, stated. Not surprisingly, given the scope of the agreement, his co-director Stefan Lehman added, “We believe in the future of the very healthy 3D market in Germany and the long-term partnership with RealD reflects that optimism.”

Euro Films Promoted for Consideration

Just in time for the nominations to the 2017 European Film Awards announced at the Seville (Spain) European Film Festival, European Film Promotion aimed the spotlight on 28 European Oscar entries. These films were submitted by their home countries for consideration at the 90th annual Academy Awards of Merit, listed among the record 92 titles in contention in the Foreign-Language category. Overall, EFP-related and/or supported talent is involved in 22 of the 28 films presented as part of the “EFP Oscar Screenings” in Santa Monica, Calif. Fourteen have already been acquired for U.S. distribution and 19 films were personally represented by the filmmakers.

The series coincided with the American Film Market (Nov. 1-8), where EFP hosted their “Europe! Umbrella” stand for the 19th time, and was presented at the Dick Clark Screening Room. According to the Hamburg, Germany-based promotion agency, “EFP Oscar Screenings” offer an additional opportunity in Los Angeles “for Academy members, journalists, U.S. distributors and international buyers.”