×

U.K. maps niche net

Film Council contracts for cinema upgrades

LONDON — The U.K. Film Council has selected digital cinema services outfit Arts Alliance Digital Cinema to install and maintain the world’s largest digital screen network in Blighty.

AADC beat out rumored competitors British Telecom, NTL and IBM to secure the £11.5 million ($22 million) contract from the council.

The ambitious project is the cornerstone of the Film Council distribution and exhibition department’s $34 million project to increase audience access to niche titles. As part of the deal, the Film Council has stipulated that in return for the equipment and after-care, the cinemas must reserve a number of slots per week for such pics.

Providing the public with greater access to arthouse and foreign-lingo fare is a priority for the Film Council. Pete Buckingham, the org’s distrib and exhib chief, commented, “Although a genuine variety of films is available in central London and a few other metropolitan areas, the choice for many outside these areas remains limited, and the digital screen network will improve access for audiences across the U.K.”

Popular on Variety

Under the venture, 90% of the U.K. will be covered including chronically under-served regions such as East Anglia.

While Buckingham concedes that accessing auds in remote areas is a major priority, he was quick to reassure the industry that the existing arthouse market will retain government support.

The 320 cinemas bidding for a swanky digital makeover will learn their fate in May, and AADC will kick off the installation rollout in the fall. The venture has pledged to complete all installations 18 months from that time allowing the network to be fully operational in less than two years. Postinstallation, the upgraded cinemas will benefit from staff training, servicing, warranties and upgrades for a period of four years.

AADC is part of venture capital firm Arts Alliance Media, which owns a majority stake in the City Screen circuit, the U.K.’s biggest exhib specializing in indie fare.

More Film

  • Charades Scores Flurry of Sales Across

    Charades Scores Flurry of Sales Across Prestige Animation Slate (EXCLUSIVE)

    Charades, the Paris-based sales company behind the Oscar-nominated “I Lost My Body” and “Mirai,” has closed a raft of deals on high-profile animated features, including “Little Nicholas” and “Marona’s Fantastic Tale.” Anca Damian’s “Marona’s Fantastic Tale,” which world premiered in competition at last year’s Annecy Film Festival and was nominated at the European Film Awards, [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Federation Entertainment Acquires Alejandro Amenabar’s ‘Thesis’ for Series Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Paris and Los Angeles-based Federation Entertainment has acquired the TV format and remake rights to Alejandro Amenábar’s debut feature, “Thesis.” It’s a prime example of the value of key older movie titles from standout younger foreign-language auteurs. Producer of “The Bureau,” “Marseille,” “Bad Banks” and “Hostages,” Federation Entertainment will produce a drama series based on [...]

  • European Film Market Berlinale Berlin Film

    Berlin: NL Film, Hupe Film Board 'Life Through a Dead Man's Eyes' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Amsterdam-based NL Film and Hupe Film in Cologne have boarded Jo Baier’s upcoming Nazi war criminal horror thriller “Life Through a Dead Man’s Eyes.” The companies join co-producers Films in Motion (FIM), the Berlin-based shingle run by American producer René Asch, and Angelika Mohr’s Morefilms in Munich, which is also handling world sales. German thesps [...]

  • Luna Nera Netflix Italy

    Italy's Women Filmmakers Set to Make Waves

    The Berlinale in recent years has been a prime launching pad for Italian films directed by women, which though fewer in number to their male counterparts, make up a considerable portion of the country’s representation on the festival circuit — Alice Rohrwacher (“Happy as Lazzaro”) at Cannes, Susanna Nicchiarelli (“Nico”) at Venice, and Berlin regular [...]

  • Bad Tales Italian Cinema

    Italian Programmers and Directors Take on Top Jobs at International Fests

    Though hiring a foreigner to run a national institution such as the Berlinale in Germany is rather rare, it’s been happening to other Italians lately. Carlo Chatrian at Berlin is the most prominent case. But there are several more. In 2018, Italy’s Paolo Moretti, who now heads the Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, became the first non-French [...]

  • Scandinavia's Snowglobe Shows Knack for Auteurs

    Scandinavia's Snowglobe Shows Knack for Auteurs

    One of the hippest, most international Scandinavian companies, the Copenhagen-based Snowglobe, is the 5-year-old banner behind “Wildland,” the female-powered crime film set to world premiere at the Berlinale. Starring Sidse Babett Knudsen (“Borgen”) as a mafia ringleader and introducing Sandra Guldberg Kampp, “Wildland” was written by Ingeborg Topsoe (“The Charmer”) and directed by Jeanette Nordahl. [...]

  • Beyond The Raging Sea

    Mad Solutions/Vox to Release Refugee Doc 'Beyond The Raging Sea' Across MENA (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Beyond the Raging Sea,” an extreme sea adventure documentary aimed at raising awareness of the global refugee crisis, is set for a wide theatrical release across the MENA region via Arab marketing and distribution company Mad Solutions and Middle East exhibitor Vox Cinemas. The deal between the two companies and the International Emerging Film Talent [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content