Changing Cinema Landscape and Challenges of Independent Cinema

Do audiences need technical spectacles and events to be attracted to the cinema? While the cinema industry continues to invest in new technologies offering audiences experiences out of the ordinary, still less people are watching art house and indie films in cinemas. Last year in the Danish industry, the debate raged when several artistic ambitious films were more or less ignored by audiences despite critical acclaim and awards. Why is there such an apparent disconnect between the independent film making community and the cinema audience?

At PICTURE THIS_17, strategic analyst in the cinema sector Peter Buckingham will discuss the changing landscape of cinema and the challenges and opportunities that independent and European film faces to survive in the cinema environment.

The introduction of digital technology has led to a paradigm shift across the cinema landscape. The big screen experience now often includes 3D, immersive sound, laser illumination, High Dynamic Range, high frame rates, premium large formats, immersive motion, innovative theatre designs and dine-in offers, virtual reality and event screenings of sport, opera and ballet.

A report from the International Union of Cinemas, a European grouping of cinema trade associations and key operators, concludes that European cinema is thriving with increasing admissions and box office revenue, precisely thanks to the industry's experiments with technological innovations and social engagement strategies.

But where does that leave the independent film that can't compete on the technical scale, but might offer other rewards?

Peter Buckingham is a thinker, strategist analyst and doer in digital innovation, film and media, with particular focus on connecting audiences with creative work. Thirty years in the private and public sectors has given him a broad overview of the issues and challenges facing individual artists, businesses and organisations in maximising reach to and engagement with audiences and consumers. His current work as in the organisation SampoMedia explores new ways and methods to achieve this. Previous positons include Head of Distribution and Exhibition at the UK Film Council and the British Film Institute. He sits on various boards, advises on public sector innovation and media investments and speaks and teaches around the world. Central to all his work is a commitment to helping independent film reaching its audience.


Mariann Nederby