Trailers International offers multilingual previews for iPhones

Columns

On May 1, Copenhagen, Denmark-based Preview Networks announced 100,000 downloads of Trailers International, the multilingual movie preview application for the iPhone that it developed with www.xteo.com. Within only ten days, the ability to download high-quality video from www.filmtrailer.com via 3G or Wi-Fi networks had already become the number one “app” in entertainment across ten European countries. See the short demo on YouTube.

Not only Hollywood blockbusters are available but also independent and local titles alongside synopses, production information, European release dates, and integration with imdb.com. Last but not least, making “full use of Apple’s widescreen multi-touch display to enhance features such as poster flow and navigation,” the local-language user interfaces connect with Facebook, the company explains.

Preview Networks is an aggregator that shares content of more than 150 entertainment distributors and 1,000 online media (web, mobile and TV) including over 90% of film distributors in Germany, U.K., Italy, Spain, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and Finland.

XDC Marks the Spot in Cannes
Pan-European d-cinema service company XDC International cemented its relationship with the 62nd Festival de Cannes. Fifty digital films, including Disney/Pixar’s Up in 3D on opening night, were presented in 100 showings on 19 digital systems in what the marketing and communications department called a “complete digital breakthrough.” CEO and managing director Serge Plasch further noted that XDC “will support large-scale digital-cinema rollout plans for up to 8,000 screens all over Europe within the next five years.”

Once again, XDC teamed up with “expert suppliers,” as the company selected Christie projectors, four XpanD active 3D systems and, for the third year in a row, Doremi DCP-2000 servers alongside its own CineStore Solo G3s.

Installation details: (1) Film Festival: seven Christie 2K DLP Cinema projectors in auditoria Lumière, Debussy, Bazin, Buñuel, 60th Auditorium and the Beach Cinema; one 2K digital control room at the Palais des Festivals in order to check the digital copies.

(2) Film Market: two Christie 2K DLP projectors in Salle J and Bory auditorium, which was also used for 3D projection, while nine Christie HD DLP Standard projectors were added to the other preview rooms.

Empire Rules in 3D
London, England’s famous Empire Leicester Square is Europe’s first large auditorium to use the new Dolby 3D Digital Cinema large-screen solution, which allows projection onto screens ranging from 12.5 to 21 meters. Just in time for the Jonas Brothers premiere event, Dolby deployed Barco’s twin-projector to illuminate the Empire’s standard white, non-silver screen of 20 meters.

“We share the commitment to bring the finest image quality to the screen in ways that continue to add value to the cinema experience,” said Justin Ribbons, the cinema circuit’s chief executive officer. Empire Cinemas Limited operates 144 screens at 17 locations across the U.K.

Leicester Square is the flagship dating back to March 1896, when Louis and Auguste Lumière gave the first theatrical performances of a projected film to a paying U.K. audience there.

A Lot to See at SEE

Bringing titles from Albania, Austria, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey to the Goethe Institute in Los Angeles, the fourth annual South East European Film Festival (SEE Fest) lived up to its dual missions of educating on “the cultural diversity” of the region and fostering “cultural exchange through its annual presentations of films.”

In addition to awarding Rooster’s Breakfast, Slovenia’s 2009 Academy Award submission and highest-grossing title, Divorce Albanian Style (Bulgaria/Albania), Elevator (Romania) and Tunnel’s End, a documentary about Bosnia-Herzegovina’s troubled past and unstable present by Spanish filmmaker Monica Lleo, SEE Fest hosted the first-ever conference on opportunities in South East Europe for American independents and expat filmmakers: “Unlocking the Byzantine Film Model” was the title chosen by festival president Vera Mijojlic.

European Film Promotes Macedonia
"Reflecting the diversity of Europe, EFP is pleased to welcome the Macedonian Film Fund as the newest member organization” European Film Promotion’s newly elected president Éva Vezér announced. The Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is the 31st country to join the Hamburg, Germany-based pan-European network of film promotion and export organizations.

Said Darko Baseski, chief executive officer of Macedonian Film Fund, “Events organized by EFP are a great chance for providing films, actors, directors and producers with an open door for collaboration in Europe and the whole world.”

British Film Has Global Reach
“Global cinema audiences spent well over $4 billion on British films last year,” enthused John Woodward, chief executive officer of the U.K. Film Council. “That’s a phenomenal achievement and is a measure of U.K. film’s vital contribution to the wider economy... encouraging inward investment, securing jobs, and boosting Britain’s reputation as a world leader in cultural excellence.“

Atonement, The Other Boleyn Girl and The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian were among the top ten titles that grossed $3.4 billion together (up 37% over 2007). In addition to their global takings, Quantum of Solace, Mamma Mia! and The Dark Knight alone contributed in excess of £100 million to the U.K. economy ($164.6 mil.; €115.6 mil.), the Council reported, clearly “highlighting the central role of film in the creative industries’ contribution to the country’s balance sheet.”

U.K. Minister for Film Barbara Follett concurred, “Film production remains a vital creative industry and the tax credit continues to bring in a high level of inward investment. The Government will do all it can to ensure that we continue to provide the funding, infrastructure and support needed.”

2008 International theatrical results for U.K. films are available via www.ukfilmcouncil.org.uk.

Ibiza Fest Salutes Gilliam
The third annual Ibiza International Film Festival honored director Terry Gilliam with a complete retrospective and bestowed the Vicente Ribas Award on their colleagues at the Berlin Film Fest. Berlinale president Dieter Kosslick happily accepted the recognition for the festival’s “worldwide support and promotion” of the cinematic arts.

Critics Dive into Undercurrent

The fifth issue of Undercurrent, international film critics federation FIPRESCI’s “online journal of and on film criticism” was published online. A special section is devoted to John Ford, with 18 writers from around the world commenting on as many of the director’s films. For the Love of Movies is an interview with critic Gerald Peary about his feature-length documentary about, what else but “the heroic past, troubled present and uncertain future of American film criticism.”

E-mail news and comments for Andreas Fuchs to kevin.lally@nielsen.com.