access>CINEMA part of European Cinema Innovation Project CINNOVATE which successfully secures EU Investment

access>CINEMA part of European Cinema Innovation Project CINNOVATE which successfully secures EU Investment

access>CINEMA is part of a European Cinema Innovation Project called CINNOVATE, which aims to re-engage audiences for the big screen experience and European film, and has been successful in securing European Union investment.

European cinema innovation project CINNOVATE (working title) announced this week that it has secured EU investment for a brand-new digital platform, which will enable local cinemas to complement the theatrical experience with a palette of new digital audience engagement and content features.

CINNOVATE is just one of 4 projects selected to receive a total of EUR 1.5M in funding from 37 applications received for the European Commission's Cinema as Innovation Hubs for Local Communities call for proposals. 

The call asked for proposals focussed on creating innovative cultural hubs around cinema theatres, notably in areas where there is limited cinema and cultural infrastructure and where the COVID-19 has had a very strong impact.

The high-profile partnership gathers four of Europe’s leading arthouse cinema networks – access>CINEMA, alongside Folkets Hus och Parker, Folkets Bio (both from Sweden), and Art kino mreža Slovenije (Slovenia) – that together count 308 screens in three territories.

The project will be coordinated by Cologne-based VOD and digital distribution experts Rushlake Media and independent consultant Jan Runge

Additional content and network partners are the Event Cinema Association (United Kingdom), Spielfabrique (Germany) and IMZ International Music + Media Centre (Austria).

At the heart of the project is an innovative digital content and audience engagement platform that offers experiences in five interconnected areas:

  • Cinema-powered VOD
  • Event Cinema offers online
  • Gaming and VR in cinemas
  • Jukebox Cinema/ crowdsourcing
  • Virtual film literacy offers

All digital features of the platform, which builds on the successfully operating service “Kino on Demand” in Germany, are designed to re-engage with existing and new film fans in order to bring them back to the cinema – a much needed objective after the devastating impacts that the COVID-crisis has had and continues to have on cinema admissions across Europe.

Commenting on the announcement, access>CINEMA director Maeve Cooke said:

"Providing access to a wider range of cinema as a shared, cultural experience for people in their local communities has always been at the core of our work. This past year has, of course, been extremely challenging for both our network and the industry in general, but it has also resulted in cinemas trying new ideas and experimenting in very creative ways. 

Being part of CINNOVATE will allow us to complement and strengthen our network's traditional working model by using emerging innovations to reconnect with existing cinema audiences, whilst also reaching new audiences of all ages. We are also delighted to have the opportunity to work directly with other European cinema networks, which will allow us to share and learn from each other's experiences, as well as with the expert partners who will help us to build new activities in event cinema, VR and gaming."

The full press release is available here.