The International Union of Cinemas (UNIC), representing cinema associations and key operators across 36 European territories, has today underlined the importance it attaches to ensuring that films selected for competition at leading film festivals receive a theatrical release and supporting the position adopted by French exhibition colleagues during the Cannes International Film Festival.
Following a meeting of its Board of Directors and key members in Cannes, UNIC released the following statement:
“As its 70th edition comes to a close, we would like to express our support for the action of French cinema exhibition colleagues in pressing to ensure that only films intended for theatrical release are in future selected in competition for the Cannes International Film Festival.
The emerging influence of Video on Demand on the wider film value chain is self-evidence, and indeed we continue to argue for the further integration of international VOD operators into established financing systems across Europe. But it will come as no surprise that we also strongly believe in the value brought to a film’s performance, across all aspects of its life-cycle, by an exclusive theatrical release.
In a world where fast-paced cultural experiences increasingly happen on mobile devices – and as a result at the same time often occur in solitude – the shared experience of watching a film on the big screen continues to create a sense of identity and community.
Cinemas are places where important cultural trends and social changes emerge. We believe that leading film festivals around the world should celebrate this social, cultural and economic relevance of cinemas and call onto them to take this into consideration when designing their future selection policies.”