15 January, 2009

Italian and European Films on Digital in the United Kingdom

In 2008 digital distribution contributed to the dissemination on the UK market of a number of films that were already stars of the cinema season in their home countries. In Italy, for example, a full-length feature arrived, Caos Calmo, by Antonello Grimaldi, with Nanni Moretti and Valeria Golino, as well as award-reaping films, such as Paolo Sorrentino’s Il Divo and Gomorra by Matteo Garrone, based on the best-seller with the same title by Roberto Savino, which was awarded the trophy for Best Film of the Year at the European Film Awards, on 6 December 2008 in Copenhagen.
Il Divo, in particular, thanks to the digital format, was also on the programme in small centres like Hawkhurst in Kent. Here the Kino Digital Cinema presented it at the beginning of November, so that simultaneously with the presentation of Caos Calmo at the BFI London Film Festival, Sorrentino’s film was screened in the original language with English subtitles. The distribution of Grimaldi’s film in digital format by New Wave Film began in British cinemas on 24 October 2008.
As well as these Italian successes, during the month of November alone, other films were distributed in the UK in digital format, such as The Baader-Meinhof Complex, a blockbuster in Germany in 2008 (Momentum Pictures), Le silence de Lorna, by the Dardenne brothers (New Wave Film), the big film at the latest Cannes Festival, and Waltz with Bashir (Artificial Eye), an Israeli film but with German and French producers also.
In December came the turn of Lemon Tree (Unanimous Pictures), another Israeli, German, French co-production, Julia (Chelsea Films) and classics such the Italian Ladri di Biciclette, which Park Circus distributed throughout England during the Christmas holidays. Just some evidence of the great variety of digital content made available in the UK, a result of the strategy put in place by the UK Film Council through the Digital Screen Network.

The “DigiTraining Plus 2009” course will host a presentation of the DSN by Peter Buckingham, Head of Distribution and Exhibition for the UK Film Council.

Marcello Mazzucotelli