International Cinema Group Urges Festivals to Ban Non-Theatrically Released Films From Competition

Variety | 2/15/2019 | Elsa Keslassy
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With the Berlin Film Festival about to wrap and Cannes fast approaching, the International Union of Cinemas (UNIC) is urging programmers at leading festivals to select for competition only films that will receive a full theatrical release.

UNIC, which represents exhibitors and cinema associations in 37 countries, mostly in Europe, said in a statement Friday that it expects leading film festivals to “ensure that all selected films observe established industry norms – including a full and genuine theatrical release.” The organization added: “We can’t imagine that festivals propose programs just for a small number of subscribers of specific streaming platforms, privatizing both the audience and the films themselves.”

UNIC - Platforms - Netflix - Amazon - Organization

UNIC did not name particular platforms such as Netflix or Amazon. But the organization’s statement came amid the Berlin Film Festival, which sparked anger among German exhibitors over the inclusion of a Netflix film, “Elisa y Marcela,” in competition. It marks the first time a Netflix film has been chosen by Berlinale chief Dieter Kosslick to screen in competition.

“UNIC supports German cinema exhibition colleagues and others in encouraging festival competitions only to consider for inclusion those films intended for a full theatrical release,” the organization...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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