EXPERIMENTS/”Christmas movies”in Germany

The end of 2006 and beginning of 2007 have seen numerous Italian movies continue an international journey which “” in many cases “” began many months ago.
So, audiences in Japanese and American theaters are now able to see “The tiger and the snow”, the distribution of which began in 2005 in Italy, reaching nearly the whole world in the course of 2006, arriving in Australia in October and Singapore the following month. Similarly, in 2007, a number of other countries, such as the United Kingdom and Germany, will contribute to establishing “The caiman” on international screens, whilst “The conseguences of love” reached Spanish audiences in December.
In addition to these titles, there are also a number of “new entries”. Of these, “Rosso come il cielo”, which has been particularly successful on Far Eastern markets, stands out in terms of the number of releases. With regard to Europe, there is an interesting new German initiative: the distribution of top box office Italian movies.


Azur Film, a company which was set up in October 2006, is targeting this market. The intention of the shareholders “” Luca Morandini, Daniel Schmid and Gerda Widler “” is to repeat the Swiss success of MDF which every year, since 1996, has distributed fifteen or so Italian mainstream and “essai” movies (through the “Discovery” collection).
“We chose the Christmas period to present what in Italy are known as “˜Christmas movies’ in Germany, targeting in particular cities with a strong Italian immigrant population” “” says Gerda Widler.
“We launched “Natale a New York” on the same day and date as in Italy, based on the experience acquired in Switzerland where we noticed that cinema-goers of Italian origin are very well informed “” mainly thanks to television “” about the latest movie releases. However, one difference emerged immediately: we will probably have to create ad hoc promotional campaigns for Germany because the echo of Italian advertising does not reach here as rapidly and in such a widespread way as in Switzerland”.


Azur Film, which has announced the February release of “Olé” and “Ti amo in tutte le lingue del mondo”, aims to distribute around fifteen movies a year, and will also be opening an “essai” films sector. For now, it has mainly communicated with its potential public through a website, providing useful information such as a list of the theaters screening its first movies.
These include important German exhibitor chains such as CineStar and CinemaxX, in the main German markets of Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.


 


Cinema&Video International   1/2-2007

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