Country Focus: Switzerland
Exhibitors say no to restrictive leasing (2)
by Françoise Deriaz
23/02/2009 - Click here to read the first part of this article.
Professionals in the sector – brought together under the banner of ProCinema, a Swiss association of film exhibitors and distributors – quickly appealed for state aid. A first official meeting with the Federal Office for Culture took place at the start of the year.
From majors to smaller exhibitors, all took part and decided as a priority to undertake research to find a supplier offering less restrictive conditions, or even create an ad hoc equipment leasing company in Switzerland.
The main conclusion to emerge from this initial exchange was that distributors are willing to contribute to the costs of equipping theatres, for example according to the VPF model (Virtual Print Fee), a common tax system, which has not been unanimously approved in Europe (see news).
There is also talk of using the collected finances for the creation of a fund to help exhibitors make the switch to digital. For its part, the Federal Office for Culture is examining the possibility of contributing to such a fund. However, there would need to be preconditions related to the diversity and quality of the programming in supported theatres and the financial commitment of cantonal and council authorities, as well as local government.
Despite adversity, Swiss exhibitors and distributors are finally taking their future into their own hands.