Slovenian cinemas convene on digital issue

By Matevz Rudolf
    Slovenian commercial and art house cinema owners meeting in Ljubljana have decided to unite behind the issue of converting cinema houses to digital projection.

    The conference entitled "Networks and the digitization of art cinema" was organized by art house cinema Kinodvor (www.kinodvor.org) with the support of the Slovenian Film Fund (www.film-sklad.si) and Europa Cinemas (www.europa-cinemas.org).

    The main objective was to establish a national art cinema network to strengthen the struggling small art houses. The digital transition is one practical and financial consideration. Only ten Slovenian screens are digitalized, mostly in multiplexes.The cinemas are working together on a proposal on funding digital equipment for the Slovenian Government (www.gov.si). Some 50 cinemas expressed interest. The plan asks the Ministry of Culture to fund the firs 50% of expenditures. According to TSE d.o.o (www.tse.si), the main technical supplier of Slovenian cinemas, it will cost 100.000 Euros to digitalize one cinema screen in Slovenia.

    National digitalization of all cinemas in Slovenia is predicted to save the Slovenian Film Fund (www.film-sklad.si) more than 400,000 Euros per year due to lower costs of digital distribution of Slovenian films (3-4 per year) and savings of over 30% in production costs. A savings of 2 million Euros would be spent for upgrading 35-40 screens. The plan was presented also to the board that is preparing a new law on Slovenian films.

    Participants included Marketa Colin Hodouskova from Europa Cinemas (www.europa-cinemas.org), Sylvie Da Rocha director of CICAE (www.cicae.org), Maeve Cook, director of Access Cinema (www.accesscinema.ie) and film producer and digital technology expert Miroslav Sochor from Universal Production Partners (www.upp.cz).

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