A year on from its creation, the Global Cinema Federation, has outlined five key areas of concern and interest to cinema operators worldwide. They include Theatrical Exclusivity, Movie Theft, International Trade and Investment, Music Rights and Accessibility. In the case of the former, the group says strongly, “a surprise launch of a short theatrical window will be regarded as unfair and unacceptable business behavior.”
Position papers released today as the CineEurope exhibitors conference kicks off in Barcelona will guide the GCF in its efforts to advocate and educate on behalf of cinema operators around the world.
The GCF was created last June when the world’s biggest exhibition chains linked arms to raise the industry’s profile with regulatory agencies, and smooth differences between countries.
Members include AMC, Cinemark, Cineplex, Cinépolis, Cineworld, CJCGV, Event Cinemas, Les Cinemas Gaumont Pathé, Toho Cinemas, Vue International and Wanda Cinemas. NATO and UNIC are also on the executive committee. The companies and organizations have interests in more than 90 territories.
Cineworld (and Regal) boss Mooky Greidinger commented on the GCF’s moves in Barcelona this morning. “Some countries are more advanced, but at the end of the day we are dealing with the same issues,” he said. “All of us are acting together and we are very strong competitors, but in general, the things we need to be together on I think we can share a lot and gain a lot and it will be good for the industry.”
Vue International chief Tim Richards added, “There has always been a need” for a group to address issues facing the exhibition industry and the GCF is “intended to be very supportive.” But, he allowed, “the issues are easy to identify, the hard part is finding solutions.”
In the papers released today, under the heading of Theatrical Exclusivity, the group notes that the theatrical window “is an integral part of the commercial terms between exhibitors and distributors” and warns, “a surprise launch of a short theatrical window will be regarded as unfair and unacceptable business behavior.”
Movie Theft is also a chief concern, whose threat has increased as technology advances. Exhibitors, the GCF says, are the “front line” of preventing in-theater camcording, the source of most illegal copies accessed during a film’s theatrical run. Cinemas must build awareness of the cost of theft to consumers.
The GCF advocates the sharing of information on regulations and practices that impact on foreign trade and investments. Where appropriate, that includes, local and regional advocacy that focuses on promoting international trade and investment into cinema through research and information-sharing.
For Music Rights, the long-term goal is to remove entirely the need for cinemas to enter into licence arrangements with, and make royalty payments in respect of music rights to, performing rights organizations. However, this is hampered by legal and structural challenges. In the interim, the GCF says it will support efforts to secure material reductions in existing tarifs.
Cinema operators are also encouraged to continue to provide services to disabled guests and implement independent solutions that increase access to guests.
The full text of the five position papers is here.