3D continues to grow in Russia


Operating 10 theatres with 62 screens in the Russian Federation, St. Petersburg-based Mirage Cinema Group joined forces with RealD to equip up to 60 auditoriums with 3D technology. Alexander Ivoninsky founded the circuit 12 years ago. Following February deals for 200 screens with Karo Film and up to 100 with Kinomax, this agreement with Mirage “further demonstrates our continued focus on growth in the Russian market,” noted Robert Mayson, managing director, RealD Europe.

Tuning In to Turkey
“Turkey is an underpenetrated market, both from an overall cinema and IMAX standpoint,” Andrew Cripps, president of IMAX for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said when announcing a deal with leading exhibitor Mars Entertainment Group.

Founded 12 years, Mars has grown into Turkey’s largest circuit, operating 57 theatres with 491 screens in 22 different cities under the Cinemaximum brand (www.cinemaximum.com.tr), amongst other business opportunities in health and fitness, restaurants and entertainment venues. Company founder and CEO Muzaffer Yildirim confirmed that “box-office revenues of our IMAX theatres in Istanbul and Ankara continuously over-perform their targets over the previous year. As we begin our aggressive expansion program in Turkey, IMAX will serve as a key component to our growth strategy” with three more large-format auditoriums designated to become anchor attractions in Cinemaximum developments.

CinemaxX Announces Admissions
According to its preliminary 2012 results, Germany’s CinemaxX AG increased admissions from 15.5 to 16.2 million moviegoers, or 17.1 million with contracted cinemas included. Total corporate revenue was up €7 mil. to €229.6 million (US$294.4 mil.), with sales accounting for €211.9 million ($271.7 mil.) in comparison to €199.6 mil. in 2011. EBITDA reached €38.9 versus €41.2 million ($49.88 and $52.83 million, respectively) during the prior year. CinemaxX operates 34 multiplexes with 292 screens and some 78,000 seats in Germany and Denmark (Aarhus, Copenhagen and Odense).

Maximizing Microcinema
Qube Cinema concluded an agreement with d-cinema services and content provider Microcinema to supply servers and integrated media blocks to movie theatres throughout Italy. Since 2008, the two companies have installed Qube XP-D servers and, more recently, Qube XP-I servers (with Xi IMBs for full 4K playback and HFR 3D) in more than 250 locations, which are all linked via a dedicated bidirectional satellite line. Microcinema delivers films and HD alternative content and has facilitated no less than 28,000 screenings and 46,000 hours of satellite transmission (FJI April 2012).

Qube pointed out that the jointly developed M-box interoperable server allows for both DCI-compliant and VC-1 encoded content. This dual-server set-up works in parallel with the same projector using all major TMS software and automations. Qube was the only company, said Silvana Molino, chief executive officer of Microcinema, “capable of realizing our idea of interoperability of DCI and non-DCI content. Qube delivers whenever we ask for experimentation and improvement.”

Germany Touches New York
Following its debut during the Berlin International Film Festival in February, the Department of Film at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) presents an updated survey of around 30 films influenced by “The Weimar Touch.” Characterized by “the sophisticated manipulation of light and shadow (both literal and metaphorical),” these films touched on “social cynicism and a recognition of the cruelty of the world,” the curators noted. Named after a period of political, artistic and social change during the Weimar Republic (1918 to February 1933) and generally considered the “golden age” of German cinema, the exhibition traces “how films from many countries drew from the themes, aesthetic ideas, and talented filmmakers and crews that distinguished Weimar cinema.”

Organized by the Deutsche Kinemathek Berlin (Rainer Rother, artistic director; Connie Betz, program coordinator) and Cinegraph Hamburg (Hans-Michael Bock) with both current and past MoMA Film curators, Charles Silver and Laurence Kardish, the program will partly run parallel to what German cinema has to offer today. In addition to co-curating “The Weimar Touch,” chief film curator Rajendra Roy also programmed the April 18-24 series “Kino!2013.” MoMA’s 35th annual showcase of new films from Germany promises “popular narrative, documentary, and avant-garde works” that demonstrate the country’s “vital role as an incubator of cinematic talent.”

Three Compete For Young Euro Audience
The European Film Academy announced the three nominees for the EFA Young Audience Award 2013. Hailing from France, Belgium and Canada (The Suicide Shop by Patrice Leconte), Germany (UPSIDEdown, Bernd Sahling) and The Netherlands (The ZigZag Kid, Vincent Bal), the winner will be announced on May 5 in Erfurt, Germany. On that “Young Audience Film Day,” 12- to 14-year-olds will vote for their favorite there, as well as in Copenhagen (Denmark), Izola (Slovenia), London (U.K.), Sofia (Bulgaria), Turin (Italy), Valletta (Malta) and Wroclaw (Poland). In what organizers called “a truly European vote,” jury speakers will transmit the national results live via Skype video conference to the award ceremony in Erfurt, which in turn will be streamed live.

Kinoton Compacts Solar Simulator
Making a good point that projection is very much about light, Germany’s Kinoton installed a compact-sized solar simulator for long-term thermoplastics material testing in Bergen Op Zoom, The Netherlands. “Our extensive expertise and decades of experience with high-pressure xenon lamps were invaluable for developing the innovative solar simulator,” the tech experts noted about putting together three short-arc lamps of 4,500 watts each. “The light they give off includes visible, infrared and ultraviolet frequencies and passes through a carefully designed optical system to produce radiation that very closely resembles actual sunlight.” The unit is located at the Energy Center of Excellence and operated by the Innovative Plastics unit of SABIC (Saudi Basic Industries Corporation).

Sipping Mouton Cadet in Cannes
What popcorn and Coca-Cola are to CinemaCon, Bordeaux wine and fromage are to the upcoming Festival de Cannes. With Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward on the “head-turning” 2013 festival poster, “international celebrities will meet at the Mouton Cadet Wine Bar to share exceptional moments” May 15-22.

A partner of the film festival for 22 years, Mouton Cadet remains its official supplier of wine, including opening and closing-night gala dinners and jury receptions. With ocean views from the Festival Palais rooftop, the Wine Bar hosted several events last year, including media meetings for Moonrise Kingdom, Lawless and Paperboy alongside a private HBO dinner party for Nicole Kidman. With Michael Haneke and the Amour team as well as Mads Mikkelsen and The Hunt, Mouton Cadet’s venue also welcomed two subsequent Cannes Palme d’Or winners.