18 May will see the launch of the VOD platform created by Lucky Red and Circuito Cinema which engages with and remunerates cinemas closed as a result of Coronavirus
On 18 May, the MioCinema platform will make its debut, offering up the long-awaited Les Misérables by Ladj Ly and marking a turning point in high-quality film distribution during the Coronavirus crisis. Indeed, this will be the first TVOD streaming service to directly involve movie theatres more closely associated with auteur films.
“In view of the cinemas closed as a result of the health crisis, and distributers with a string of films coming out, we thought we should provide movie theatres with a digital extension of their services”, explained Andrea Occhipinti during a virtual press meeting. In league with Circuito Cinema and via his firm Lucky Red, Occhipinti is responsible for promoting the platform, with the technological side of the project entrusted to MyMovies of the publishing group Gedi. “Cinema audiences are still our main point of reference and with this platform we are providing them with an opportunity to watch brilliant films which would otherwise have been released in cinemas, keeping viewers interested until movie-theatres re-open. Cinemas will be paid a fee each time a film is watched online, with the aim – once the situation is back to normal – of maintaining this virtual extension where audiences can find titles which are no longer showing in cinemas – in full compliance with exploitation windows – as well as auteur films which have been screened in festivals but which have been unable to secure distribution”.
Users of the platform will be able to choose key cinemas in their own cities, who will receive 40% of the 7-euro cost of viewing a single Premium VOD film (€3.90 or €2.90 for catalogue titles). Films will be available for 30 days and then for 48 hours following the first watch. Movie theatres will be responsible for promoting films using the resources already available to them – essentially social media, through which they already maintain contact with their most enthusiastic audiences – as well as the marketing investments put forward by distributers.
To date, 75 cinemas across the country have signed up to the initiative “and we’re expecting that number to rise to 100 by 18 May”, explains Antonio Medici of Circuito Cinema and Bim, “40% of which aren’t a part of our circuit, equating to a total of 7 million potential viewers (going by 2019 data)”. What really matters is the support of the biggest, high-quality film distributers in Italy: besides Lucky Red and Bim, CINEMA, Officine Ubu, Teodora, Vision and 01 Distribution (which also has films co-produced by Rai Cinema) are likewise entering the field. It’s an offering which looks set to be substantial “and which doesn’t exclude major labels proposing auteur films by the likes of Clint Eastwood, Pedro Almodóvar, Ken Loach”, Occhipinti underlines.