Thursday, 31 December 2009
2009: What A Year....
This year has been a fascinating one from an exhibition perspective. I feel lucky that I have been able to chronicle some of the adventures that our industry is undergoing on this blog.
In the biggest technological shakeup exhibition has undergone since the move to sound in the late 1920s, cinemas across the UK (and the world) are switching to digital fast. After what seemed to be an industry dragging its feet over whether to be or not to be (digital), the steam train of 3D has forced their hand and at least in the UK, an avalanche of switch overs has occured in anticipation of AVATAR. The gamble seems to have paid off.
The real political and economic effects on the UK's official bodies is yet to be felt, as the UKFC and the BFI merge, and we get a new Tory government that will most certainly cut spending.
Personally, my trip to the cinema manager's training in Venice was invaluable in terms of networking and learning about the realities of the cinema business in Europe. Attending a world-class festival was pretty exciting too. The papers I have written for my MA paper which focused on marketing, government support for exhibition and an in-depth study of City Screen allowed me to speak to some intelligent, polemical, powerful and downright controversial figures in the UK film industry. It's been a steep learning curve.
I must mention Jim at Bigger Picture Research for providing the numbers and the necessary analysis that is so often absent from any discussion about film.
Things to look out for next year: the make or break of 3D, the survival of independents in the wake of the switchover, and the ability of the exhibtion sector to fully exploit the new formats and channels.
I'll be attending the Berlinale this year with some of my new European contacts and returning to Venice again this time as a coordinator for the manager's course. Some of my other projects will include my dissertation (which will be about cinema networks) helping Cine Esteli get back on its feet, and a possible trip to Chile for a conference on Latin American cinema (and a quick visit to my brother). So an exciting year all round.
Despite the bells of doom ringing across the world, at the end of the first decade of the 21st century, millions of people still go to the movies, and thousands of films are made, distributed and exhibited with great passion and enthusiasm by an army of people that are clearly not in it for the money.
My top 10 films of the year:
- PUBLIC ENEMIES
- THE CLASS
- IL DIVO
- CHE ONE AND TWO
- LET THE RIGHT ONE IN
- FANTASTIC MR FOX
- INGLORIOUS BASTERDS
- CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY
- LIFE DURING WARTIME