Gov't subsidy should only be used for DCI projectors

BERLIN — The German Producers‘ Alliance is to push for the DCI Standard to be made mandatory for all digital projectors.

The org said that the government’s subsidy for the upgrade of cinemas to digital projection should require that the standard be adopted.

It said that encouragement of non-DCI standards would create a economic class system that would be counterproductive, not only for the cinemas but for the producers as well.

Ulli Aselmann, chairman of the org, said that “short-term cheap solutions would only end up costing more in the long run.”

Aselmann called for producers and exhibitors to investigate new forms of financing and predicted that prices would drop as digital cinema became the norm.

Speaking to Daily Variety Thursday, Michael Hoffner, an indie distributor and member of the German cinema operators organization, AG Kino, pointed out that DCI Standard projectors cost Euros 70,000 ($93,400) per screen, compared with $26,700 for the 2k system.

He added that digital upgrades are only one part of the financial bind in which smaller theaters find themselves, citing the cost of general renovations that are just as urgent as the upgrade to digital equipment.

Negotiations for virtual print fee agreements had been delayed, Hoffner said, because of unclear contract conditions and mandatory non-disclosure clauses that prevent distributors from organizing amongst themselves.

Hoffner said, “The clock is ticking. We are all waiting till someone comes along and says, ‘Here’s the money.’ “

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