Cinema Digitaal is a unique not-for-profit organisation formed by the Dutch Association of Cinema Exhibitors (NVB), the Association of Film Distributors (NVF) and EYE Film Institute Netherlands. Operating as a central management entity, Cinema Digitaal is in control of the digitisation project, ensuring support for all exhibitors during the switchover. The scheme is partly funded by the Dutch government, through a grant from PRIMA (Project Implementation ICT Agenda) and the Netherlands Film Fund (Nederlands Fonds voor de Film), and aims at digitising the majority of the country’s cinema screens. All independents and circuits, with the exception of Pathe, Euroscoop and Utopolis, are part of Cinema Digitaal. The rollout will be based on the VPF model, with AAM managing collection and administration of VPF payments.
Under the deal, Arts Alliance Media will be the scheme’s exclusive integrator – providing, installing and maintaining the equipment, as well as providing VPF financing. AAM has VPF deals in place with five Hollywood studios, and is in negotiations with the 14 member independent distributors of the NVF to sign up to VPF agreements to finance the rollout.
Ron Sterk, Managing Director of the NVB, and Managing Director of Cinema Digitaal, said “This agreement is the result of sector wide effort to achieve a fast, efficient transition to digital cinema.
We are very happy that all cinemas, multiplexes and art-house, will be able to benefit from the advantages of digital projection.”
Michael Lambrechtsen, Managing Director of the NVF, added “Through this scheme distributors will secure their area of distribution for the widest possible range of both art-house and mainstream titles in the Netherlands.
Arts Alliance Media CEO Howard Kiedaisch said “Arts Alliance Media has always tried to make digital cinema deals that work for every exhibitor, and the Cinema Digitaal initiative is a ground-breaking way of the industry working together, and we’re delighted to be a part of it. The model of the industry leading the switch to digital itself is one we hope will be replicated in other territories.”
Giovanni Dolci, Arts Alliance Media’s Strategy & Business Development Executive, added “It’s very exciting to see distributors and exhibitors cooperating to achieve a joint solution, which will allow the whole country to benefit from digital cinema. The NVB and NVF have both worked hard to reach this agreement and we’re thrilled that they have chosen AAM to implement the rollout. This will be a great real-life example of how the VPF model can be viable for many different exhibitors.”
All the participating cinemas will have DCI-compliant digital projection equipment supplied and installed by Arts Alliance Media, which will also be upgradeable to 3D and satellite. The rollout is expected to begin during spring 2011.