GOTEBORG, Sweden — “When we claim that this is how the film industry will be like in three-five years, it is a bit of a cheat,” said Finnish-Swedish media analyst Johanna Koljonen, when she opened the Nostradamus conference, entitled Nostradamus: Looking Ahead, at the Nordic Film Market, part of Sweden’s 40th Göteborg International Film Festival. “Three-to-five years is a very short period in film production, so the opinions of industry experts we are publishing today might not change. Read our reports from the last three years, and you will agree.”
Koljonen introduced the Nostradamus seminar at Göteborg’s Biopalatset, which was followed by a discussion of the fast-moving changes in the industry with the CEO of Denmark’s TrustNordisk International Film Sales, Rikke Ennis, as well as the head of acquisitions of Triart Film, Swedish producer Mattias Nhrborg, Eurimages executive director Roberto Olla, and Danish director Charlotte Sieling.
Published by the Göteborg International Film Festival and the Lindholmen Science Park, this year’s Nostradamus report received input from Olla, MUBI VP of content Bobby Allen, director Catharine Des Forges, of Independent Cinema Office. Also contributing their opinions are Tomas Eskilsson, the former CEO of the Swedish regional film centre Film Väst, as well as the R/O Institute director Domenico La Porta, Olffi director of Operations Joëlle Levie, and Fredrik af Malmborg, CEO of Eccho Rights.
”Despite increased competition for audience attention and cinema screens, the number of feature films produced in Europe and the U.S. continues to grow – and it is not expected to shrink significantly in the next three-to-five years,” predicted Koljonen, who still thought the future looks bright for movie theatres big and small. Still ”the sheer number of premieres means a theatrical window is not feasible even for all quality films – not even on the festival circuit. So there is certainly room in the VOD marketplace for both strong curation and dedicated films.”
”A complete digital transformation of the small screen landscape seems inevitable and will probably happen relatively fast since audiences neither understand nor much care about business models or back-end technologies. Viewers are, however, likely to be allowed to pick their packaged channels more selectively than before,” continued Koljonen.
She added: “If antitrust regulation is relaxed under the Trump administration, as net neutrality rules almost certainly will be, the media landscape is regardless likely to consolidate dramatically during the next four years.
For Koljonen, in the next three-to-five years, the fundamental grammar of virtual reality storytelling will finally be developed, and the real leaps will occur once the production tools are more widely available.
Some standardisation will help focus a splintered marketplace. Investment n “virtual reality cinemas” today should be viewed as tests – exhibitors preparing for a coming generation of the technology that may not be easily available in homes. “In the short run, we are also likely to see a brief exclusive “theatrical” window for virtual reality,” she concluded.