All Digital Screenings at Cannes 2011 Used Doremi Servers

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Fri, 05/13/2011 - 20:00 -- Nick Dager

Doremi Cinema’s presence was once again highlighted at the Cannes Film Festival as all the digital screenings at this year’s festival used Doremi servers. Doremi equipment included 30 DCP-2000 digital cinema servers supplied by XDC the Festival’s technical partner for film screenings. The Dimension-3D universal 3D format converters also ensured the quality of presentations from various formats. Commission Supérieure Technique de l'Image et du Son is the responsible party for managing and running the daily screenings and distribution of the content. In addition to supporting the presentations the latest Doremi Cinema systems were on display at the stand of its partner Decipro in the Marché du Film exhibition. Besides presenting the latest version of the DCP-2000 digital cinema server new innovations include: Captiview – a personal in-theatre closed captioning display system for the hearing impaired Fidelio – a wireless audio system that delivers descriptive narration for the visually impaired and amplified sound for the hearing impaired 4K Integrated Media Block for 4K movie presentations and StreamIt – 2D and 3D live in-theatre streaming. “We are very proud to be involved in the Festival de Cannes ” says Patrick Zucchetta European director of Doremi Technologies. “Once again confidence in our products is confirmed by our partners as well as by the Festival emphasising the quality of Doremi’s solutions their performance and reputation.” “As a technical partner of the Festival the expertise and experience of the XDC group is prominent in the broadcast of films. Doremi Technologies is highly complementary to our skills and contributes to the success of the Festival says Fabrice Testa vice president sales and business development XDC. “The CST is pleased to be surrounded by professionals such as XDC and Doremi. Their support and experience in the field of cinema allows us to ensure all film screenings smoothly and efficiently ” says Alain Besse head of distribution CST. ,2404
Envision Media Arts in Production on Chained,2011-05-14, As part of a stronger emphasis on its film and television departments Envision Media Arts has started production on the self financed feature film Chained. With US theatrical distribution by Anchor Bay and Jennifer Lynch (Surveillance) directing Chained was written by Damian O'Donnell. Principal photography on the psychological thriller about a young man who was abducted as a child and now is wrestling with following in the footsteps of his kidnapper begins in June.
 “Envision Media Arts is proud of its ten year tradition and excited to move forward with an increased focus on film and television ” says Envision president and CEO Lee Nelson. Founded in 2002 and since becoming an award-winning international commercial production company Envision Media Arts has produced spots for major companies as diverse as Macy’s Ferrero Rocher Ford and T-Com and works with a group of accomplished commercial directors including Marcus Nispel Jesse Jacobs Martha Fiennes Rupert Wainwright Dave Ramser and Paulo Vainer.
 Envision currently is also in pre-production on Waco the first narrative feature film to explore the events of the ATF raid on Mt. Carmel Texas the 51-day siege that followed and the devastating fire that resulted in the deaths of 81 civilians. Set to star Academy Award winner Adrien Brody Kurt Russell Sharon Stone and John Leguizamo Waco will be directed by Rupert Wainwright (Stigmata).
Envision currently is also developing the film adaptions of the New York Times bestselling memoir A Piece of Cake written by Cupcake Brown and the popular teen illustrated book series The Misadventures of Dreary and Naughty written and illustrated by John LaFleur and Shawn Dubin. ,2405
European Gross Box Office Reached Record High of €6.45 Billion in 2010,2011-05-14, Based on provisional data available the European Audiovisual Observatory estimates that 2010 gross box office takings in the European Union increased by five percent year-on-year to around €6.45 billion the highest level on record. In contrast to 2009 box office growth was exclusively driven by an increase in average ticket prices as admissions actually decreased by 1.6 percent to 967 million tickets sold. These data seem to reflect the impact of 3D films in their second year on the market. While it can be assumed that the novelty factor of 3D had significantly contributed in driving growth in cinema attendance in 2009 3D films failed to further increase ticket sales in 2010 but kept cinema attendance at the second highest level since 2004 and caused the average ticket price to increase by an estimated 6.8 percent. A surge in 3D screens helped an increasing number of stereoscopic blockbusters to better exploit their market potential and caused market shares for 3D films to increase dramatically in major European markets like France and Germany where they took 16 percent and 17 percent of total admissions or the UK and Russia where they took 24 percent and 20 percent of total GBO. On the level of individual markets 2010 was a year of mixed results with cinema going trends varying significantly across the individual European countries. Admissions decreased in 14 and increased in 13 of EU markets while GBO increased in 18 and decreased in 8 of the EU markets for which provisional data were available. Theatrical markets which performed particularly well were Italy with admissions up 11 percent and France where GBO rose 5.6 percent. The dramatic increase in market share of primarily US 3D blockbusters over the past two years seems to have contributed to market share for European films falling to the lowest level in the past five years. After steadily rising to 28.3 percent in 2008 the market share for European films in the EU decreased to 26.8 percent in 2009 and 25.3 percent in 2010 according to provisional estimates by the European Audiovisual Observatory. Market share for US films on the other hand grew from 66.9 percent to an estimated 68.0 percent. This compares to levels ranging between 63 percent and 65 percent in the years 2006 to 2008. European films produced in Europe with incoming US investment increased their market share from 4.0 percent to 5.4 percent thanks to the success of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Robin Hood. Led by local hit Les petits mouchoirs French films once more attracted the largest number of admissions out of all European films. Backed by strong results in their home market Italian films ranked second taking 4.1 percent followed by German productions which – thanks to Resident Evil: Afterlife - accounted for 3.1 percent of total admissions in the EU. 2010 saw EU production levels continue to grow to a new record in 2010 though at a slower pace compared to previous years. Based on the provisional data available the Observatory estimates that a total of 1 203 theatrical feature films including feature documentaries were produced within the EU member states 19 films more than 2009. Production growth would have been more pronounced but for a significant drop in German fiction productions which fell from 129 to 84 films. As a consequence overall EU growth was driven by an increase in feature documentaries (+32 films) while the number of fiction films decreased (-19) raising the share of feature documentaries to 28 percent while fiction films accounted for 72 percent of total production volume in 2010. With 203 feature films receiving official recognition in 2010 France reached a historic record high and became again the country with the highest production output in Europe followed by Spain with 186 films produced. 3D blockbuster Avatar topped last year’s European charts selling an estimated 43 million tickets in 2010 after having generated over 22 million admissions in 2009. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 took a strong second place with 31.2 million admissions followed by 3D blockbusters Toy Story 3 and Alice in Wonderland. The EU charts were once more dominated by US 3D blockbusters which accounted for 10 out of the top 20 films. Leaving aside the latest Harry Potter instalment and Robin Hood both UK inward investment films financed by a US studio no European film made it into the top 20. The most successful European films without incoming US investment were French comedy Les petits mouchoirs attracting an audience of over 5.4 million people across the EU followed by German 3D horror action film Resident Evil: Afterlife which sold 5.3 million tickets. More detailed information on European as well as international theatrical markets can be found in FOCUS 2011 World Film Market Trends prepared by the European Audiovisual Observatory for the Cannes Film Market and available from mid-May onwards at ,2406
Creative Community Praises Senate Action on Online Theft,2011-05-14, A broad coalition of organizations representing the creative community has applauded U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for sponsoring the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act a bill to deter prevent and root out websites that profit from trafficking in stolen content.  

The bill was also sponsored by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) Lindsey Graham (R-SC) Herb Kohl (D-WI) Chris Coons (D-DE) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

 The Independent Film & Television Alliance the Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners have united in support of efforts to address today's gravest threat to the American film industry workforce: the illegal distribution of content online.  And they are working closely with an even wider coalition of entertainment union workers and organizations businesses and labor groups involved in the production sale and distribution of creative content. 

 Under the Protect IP Act foreign websites formerly operating outside the realm of U.S. law would no longer be allowed to exploit U.S. registrars registries Internet service providers payment processors search engines and ad placement services to sustain their illicit online businesses.  

Attacking the financial underpinnings of these illegal sites and the criminals that operate them will help take profit out of their illicit operations.  The anonymity of the Internet would no longer provide the lucrative safe-haven for thieves that it does today.

 Jean Prewitt IFTA president & CEO says This legislation will be a substantial step forward in the effort to drain profits away from rogue websites that benefit from unauthorized sales of counterfeit or illegitimately distributed goods and in doing so to protect consumers creators and others in the legitimate chain of commerce.  Reaching sites originating outside the U.S. is critical to fighting a worldwide epidemic that is destroying the ability of the independent film industry to obtain the financing needed to produce future films and we are appreciative of the bipartisan Congressional leadership engaged to craft sorely needed remedies. “Movie theater operators are acutely aware of the increasingly harmful effects that IP theft has on our nation’s economy. Few issues are as bipartisan as fighting online theft and NATO applauds our leaders on Capitol Hill for reaching across the aisle to craft balanced IP enforcement legislation that targets the rogue websites threatening the livelihoods of 160 000 movie theater employees and undermining the nation’s economic growth ” says John Fithian NATO president and CEO. To the camera crew the makeup artists the truck drivers and all the other hard-working middle-class Americans involved in the making of a motion picture or television show digital theft means declining incomes lost jobs and reduced health and retirement benefits for them and their families says Michael O'Leary executive vice president government affairs of the MPAA.  We want to thank Chairman Leahy Senator Hatch and the other cosponsors for recognizing the true cost of online content theft and for seeking new tools to effectively enforce U.S. laws on the online marketplace.  

 We look forward to working with the Senate Judiciary Committee and in the House Chairman Lamar Smith and other leaders who are drafting their own bill to target rogue websites to ensure that the final legislation passed by both chambers and presented to the President provides adequate online protection of the American film and television community an industry that supports 2.4 million American jobs O'Leary says.

 Internet sites that steal and distribute American intellectual property are often foreign-owned and operated or reside at domain names that are not registered through a U.S.-based registry or registrar setting them outside the scope of U.S. law enforcement.  The Justice Department and rights holders are currently limited in their options for legal recourse even when the website is directed at American consumers and steals American-owned intellectual property.  

This legislation authorizes the Justice Department to seek a court order directing intermediaries and other U.S.-based third parties to cease providing transactions and support services to infringing sites.  

 These third parties would then be required to take appropriate action to either prevent access to the Internet site (in the case of an Internet service provider or search engine) or cease doing business with the Internet site (in the case of a payment processor or advertising network).  

The bill would also authorize rights holders a limited right of action to seek a court order against the domain name registrant owner or the domain name that is infringing their copyrights.  To prevent the same site from simply reappearing online this legislation would also authorize the Justice Department or rights holders to bring action against previously seized sites that have been reconstituted under a different domain name site owner or registrant in the same Federal court streamlining the infringing site's elimination from the online marketplace. ,2408
Legislation Introduced to Make Online Content Streaming a Crime,2011-05-14, Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Cornyn (R-TX) Members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee have introduced legislation that would classify the illicit online streaming of copyrighted content a felony and bring it into line with other forms of content theft. An entertainment industry coalition including the Independent Film & Television Alliance the Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners praised the bill for reconciling the current legal disparity between the unlawful distribution of content through streaming and peer-to-peer downloading. “It is high time that the punishment fit the crime. Illegal streaming of stolen content is growing and poses a threat to the profitability of movie theaters and to the jobs of our 160 000 employees in the U.S.” says John Fithian president and CEO of NATO. “We thank Senators Klobuchar and Cornyn and recommend bipartisan support for the passage of this important legislation.” “The illegal streaming of copyrighted content is a scourge on the independent film and television community particularly the small and medium-sized businesses without the resources to effectively enforce their intellectual property rights says Jean Prewitt IFTA president & CEO. “We strongly believe government enforcement and consequences are the only effective remedies for these types of illegal activities. We highly commend Senators Klobuchar and Cornyn for this significant legislative proposal to ensure illegal streaming is treated as seriously under the law as is illegal downloading. Michael O’Leary executive vice president government affairs for the MPAA added: “Criminals are stealing trafficking and profiting off the investment that our workers devote to creating the quality films and TV shows that entertain a worldwide audience and bolster the American economy. The online distribution mechanisms utilized by thieves may differ but to the 2.4 million American workers whose livelihoods depend on our industry the end result of content theft is the same: lost jobs declining incomes and reduced health and retirement benefits for them and their families. We thank Senators Klobuchar and Cornyn for introducing this important legislation to standardize the legal treatment of online content theft and helping ensure that federal law keeps pace with the changing face of criminal activity.  We look forward to working with Members in the House and Senate towards its swift passage.” Under current federal law a legal distinction exists between illegal streaming and downloading – two methods of distributing the same stolen digital content.  This legislation would make the illegal streaming of copyrighted works a felony thereby standardizing its criminal classification with that of illegal peer-to-peer downloading already a felony.  In March the Office of U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Victoria Espinel presented Congress with legislative recommendations to improve IP enforcement efforts which included clarifying this aspect of intellectual property law. ,2409
Indiefilmnet Acquiring Content for Cinema Meets Culture Series,2011-05-14, A new company Indiefilmnet has opened its doors with the goal of distributing alternative content to cinemas worldwide. The company says it offers unique services to movie theatres featuring an all inclusive membership package of high quality diversified content leading edge technology and various level of promotions. 
 While the company is new its management and operational team have decades of experience in classical and alternative content distribution as well as advanced cinema technology expertise. Drawing on this wealth of experience iFN says it has forged a cinema-centric approach focusing on profitability and success of every content item it accepts for distribution. iFN has already signed up a number of member cinemas and content partners and started to roll out selected content leading with its popular Cinema Meets Culture series. The short-term goal of iFN is to accumulate a worldwide digital network of 300 plus cinemas. The company is currently negotiating network participation with over 200 cinemas worldwide.
iFN CEO Ilya Sorokin had previous associations with Montreal-based DigiScreen Corporation as a shareholder and an advisor where he learned the business of Classical content distribution. Combining that knowledge with extensive Wall Street technology and business management expertise provided the baseline for expeditious rollout of iFN by attracting top notch personnel and technology. 
  Says Sorokin “The ultimate company focus is on serving cinemas content providers and end users worldwide. We are starting with the cinemas as a focal point of our business model. While we continue to expand our cinema membership base the company will be increasing its content portfolio by adding 3D original content live and recorded concerts sports events classical documentary and many other channels targeting interested audiences. The last but most important prong of our business model is the movie goer – iFN will be focusing on a social network approach to engage and interact with the audiences worldwide in order to provide them with the appropriate viewing experience.” Indiefilmnet
Litepanels Introduces H2 Hi-Output LED Lights,2011-05-14,Litepanels has debuted Litepanels’ H2 Hi-Output LED lights. The company says the new fixtures answer the need for an LED fixture capable of throwing illumination over a 20 to 25 foot (6.1 to 7.6 meters) distance providing HD-friendly light with all the advantages of Litepanels proprietary LED fixtures. The new H2 Hi-Output is 5600°K color balanced utilizing an array of 72 one-Watt daylight LEDs that are focused to a 10° angle. H2 fixtures integrate perfectly into sets or locations utilizing other Litepanels fixtures providing wide-spectrum daylight (5600°K) color balance illumination. Like all Litepanels LED fixtures the H2 fixtures provide their incredible light output while remaining energy efficient. The 100W H2 fixtures provide light equivalent to a 1000W legacy lighting fixture utilizing just 10% of the energy. And because H2 lights generate no noticeable heat the need for power-hungry air conditioning is reduced. The new H2 fixtures provide the same dimming capabilities as other Litepanels fixtures as well as dimming from 100 percent to zero with no noticeable color change. Dimming is provided via a knob located on the fixture itself or from a DMX dimmer board. H2 fixtures have an integrated yoke and gimbal system for easy hanging in the grid or positioning on a light stand. Litepanels ,2412
Digital Cinema Screens in European Topped 10 000 in 2010,2011-05-14,According to the statistics provided by Media Salles the number of European screens equipped with DLP Cinema or SXRD technology at the end of 2010 totalled 10 346 with a 120.9 percent rise compared to the previous year. Compared to the total number of screens in Europe in December 2010 digital screens had achieved a market penetration of 29 percent as against 13.4 percent the previous year. The rate of market penetration for digital screens the highest figures being seen in Luxembourg (73 percent) and in Belgium (65 percent) has also experienced significant changes in the largest markets reaching over the European average in the United Kingdom (38 percent) in Russia (38 percent) and in France (34 percent) but remaining below the overall rate for Europe in Germany (27 percent) Italy (23 percent) and Spain (19 percent).

 The number of digital sites in Europe in December 2010 was 4 120 with a 74.1 percent rise over the previous year. The total market penetration of digital sites amounts to around 33 percent as against 18.7 percent in December 2009. Also on the increase is the average number of screens in digital sites which has risen in Europe from the 1.6 screens per site registered in December 2007 to 2.5 in December 2010 The average number of digital screens per cinema varies widely in individual European countries. 
In December 2010 the highest figures were recorded in Belgium (6.8 screens per cinema) Luxembourg (4.8) Portugal (4.8) Austria (4.3) Latvia (3.7) Romania (3.6) Estonia (3.5) and France (3.5). 
Of the largest markets the lowest figures can be noted in Italy (1.9 screens per cinema) lower than the United Kingdom (3.1) Spain (2.6) and Germany (2.2). 

The biggest markets in terms of ticket sales also account for the largest percentage of digital screens out of the overall total for Europe so that France comes in first place with 18.2 percent of Europe’s digital screens followed by the United Kingdom (13.6 percent) Germany (12.1 percent) Russia (9.1 percent) Italy (8.8 percent) and Spain (7.3 percent). Regarding a comparison with the 2009 growth rates the greatest development has been seen in the Scandinavian countries i.e. Denmark (+444 percent compared to December 2009) Norway (+339 percent) and Sweden (+308 percent). Alternatively if we consider the five-year period between 2006 and 2010 the compound annual growth rate is greatest in Russia (+293 percent) in Portugal (+216 percent) and in Finland (+206 percent) countries where the number of digital screens has increased considerably especially up to 2009. In Europe the development of digital screens seems to be highly concentrated with regard to exhibition companies: by December 2010 the top ten exhibitors were responsible for 32.4 percent of the overall number of digital screens. The top five players are: Odeon and UCI Cinemas Group (with 8.0 percent of digital screens) operating as Odeon Cinemas in the United Kingdom as UCI in Austria Germany Italy and Portugal and as Cinesa in Spain; the French company Europalaces (4.8 percent) operating in Switzerland France and Netherlands; Cineworld Group (3.9 percent) present in the United Kingdom and Ireland; CGR (3.7 percent) operating in France; and Kinepolis (2.3 percent) present in Belgium France and Spain. As in 2009 3D cinema was again the motor for growth: the penetration of screens equipped with 3D technology as a proportion of the overall number of digital screens has continued to increase (except in Spain) rising from 74 percent in December 2009 to 81.5 percent in December 2010. In some countries in Central and Eastern Europe such as Croatia Lithuania Serbia and Slovenia where the number of digital cinemas is still modest 3D screens represent 100 percent of total digital screens. This is also the case in Iceland. In many countries the penetration of 3D digital screens compared to the total number of digital screens is over 90 percent: Russia (99.6 percent) Turkey (98.5 percent) Hungary (98.2 percent) Sweden (96.8 percent) Poland (95.7 percent) Denmark (95.6 percent) Switzerland (94 percent) Bulgaria (93 percent) Italy (92.3 percent) Finland (92 percent) the Netherlands (91.7 percent) Greece (91.5 percent) the Czech Republic (91 percent) and Latvia (90.9 percent). However the percentage is lower in the United Kingdom where it grew from 71.1 percent in December 2009 to 77.9 percent in December 2010 and in France where it rose from 69.4 percent to 74.5 percent. ,2414
NATO Calls for Release of Premium Video on Demand Data,2011-05-14, The National Association of Theatre Owners has called on the movie studios participating in the early-to-the-home premium video on demand experiment to release sales figures for the movies that have been offered on the platform.
The controversy around the shortened theatrical window involved in the early premium VOD offering has drawn intense interest in Hollywood the trade and business press and Wall Street. But has the early VOD offering drawn the interest of the consumer?
“What’s an experiment without data?” asked NATO president and CEO John Fithian. “Every weekend—usually before the weekend is over—the performance of movies at the U.S. box office is reported around the world. Studio executives are working the phones touting the stellar box office for hit movies and explaining the underperformance of the flops. When it comes to premium VOD—crickets.”
  The movies released so far include Just Go With it (Sony) Cedar Rapids (Fox) and Hall Pass (Warner Bros.).  The Adjustment Bureau (Universal) is scheduled for release this week. The movies are being released through DirecTV’s Home Premiere at a price of $29.99 roughly 60 days after their theatrical debuts.
 Time Warner chairman Jeff Bewkes and CBS president and CEO Les Moonves offered some unsolicited advice for theater owners at the Jefferies 2011 Global Technology Internet Media & Telecommunications Conference Wednesday morning. 
According to published reports “There has been too much excitement about this ” Bewkes said about premium VOD in highlighting that exhibitors and studios share the same interests. Discussing exhibitors he emphasized once again that “nobody in the movie business wants them to be at risk ” and suggested that studios and theaters have aligned interests in making content accessible in legal and high-quality ways to combat piracy according to the Hollywood Reporter. 

 Moonves said “I know theater owners are scared ” noting that all companies in media have had to adapt to new technology. “They are going to have to change a bit to prevent a crisis ” according to Variety.

 Forgive us if we decline to take business lessons from the end of the industry that enabled the erosion of value in the home market said Fithian.  “The creation of $1.99 kiosk rentals and $7.99 monthly subscriptions have undercut the sell-through model in the home—not theatrical release windows.
  “Let me offer some advice in return from the end of the business that has grown more than 25 percent globally over the last five years ” Fithian continued. “Your problem is in the home window: fix it there. You will not create extra revenue by introducing in the theatrical window the same self-cannibalizing channel confusion that has decimated the home market.”
  On the issue of movie theft Fithian added “Combat piracy by charging $30 for a rental? Really?  You can't compete with free.  Early VOD release will only exacerbate theft by giving the pirates a pristine digital copy of the movie much earlier than they have with DVDs.”
“Theater owners around the globe are indeed concerned.  So are many leading movie directors and producers who care about the theatrical experience. Studio bosses should spend more time talking to their partners about models that might work instead of asking us to calm down.”