Alessandro Raja • Festival Scope
by Camillo de Marco
29/10/2010 - Being able to watch a film on their computer at the same time it is presented at a festival really makes life easier for professionals who can’t afford to travel all over the world. It is also a superb opportunity for giving films wide promotion and festivals greater visibility. This is what is offered by Festival Scope, an innovative platform launched by three Paris-based film professionals: Alessandro Raja, Mathilde Henrot and Lucie Kalmar.
Among the most recent titles available on Festival Scope are Nicolas Pereda’s Summer of Goliath and Roee Rosen’s medium-length film Out (both Horizons section prize-winners at the latest Venice Fest); Mike Ott’s Littlerock (Special Mention from the jury at the Montreal New Cinema Festival); Marimbas From Hell by Julio Hernández, Useful Life by Federico Veiroj and Lucia by Niles Attalah (all shown at Valdivia Film Festival); Nikola Ležaić’s Tilva Rosh (Sarajevo Film Festival); Anocha Suwichakornpong’s Mundane History (ERA New Horizons); Zhang Lu’s Dooman River (Paris Cinéma Festival); Gianfrancesco Lazotti’s From Life Onwards [trailer] (Taormina Festival); Véréna Paravel and J.P. Sniadecki’s Foreign Parts (Best Debut Film at Locarno); and Nariman Turebayev’s Sunny Days (winner of the Open Doors Award).
To date, Festival Scope’s partner festivals also include Melbourne, the Viennale, Gijón, Goa Film Bazaar, Göteborg, Copenhagen’s CPH PIX Festival, Istanbul, IndieLisboa, Sofia, Transylvania Film Festival, Galway Film Fleadh, Hamburg Filmfest and Jeonju. Other partner festivals will be announced in the forthcoming weeks.
Cineuropa: Festival Scope isn’t an open system for watching films online but a tool intended for festivals and professionals who attend them. What is the aim of this service?
Alessandro Raja: Festival Scope is a new Internet platform by and for film professionals, which makes it possible to watch the programmes of international partner festivals online.
The service’s aim is to create a virtuous circle in the film industry, to enable certain films to travel beyond their country and enjoy greater visibility among distributors, film critics, festival programmers, TV programmers…and thus ultimately reach a wider audience! Festival Scope is determined to defend quality films and promote its artists through an innovative service.
How does it work? Have you solved all the technical problems related to connection speed and data security?
We have taken and continue to take all possible steps to ensure an enjoyable and secure viewing experience. Subscribers can watch the film on their computer or even connect their computer to a projector or television to see the film on a bigger screen.
The streaming quality we’ve developed makes this possible. Moreover, we’ve developed a system which adjusts to subscribers’ Internet connections so that the film showing is always fluid.
With regard to security, professionals can register by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will only have access to films after their registration has been validated by us.
Each user has a personal code (combined with their professional email address) and can only view each film once, in order to discourage the possible temptation to give their access codes to other people. Even so, they will be able to resume interrupted film viewings and start again at the same scene at later sessions.
What are the advantages of this system for different professionals?
The idea is that everyone comes out a winner. Festivals enjoy a year-round presence and help selected films to obtain greater visibility across the world. Rights-holders benefit from free film promotion, savings and better security compared to the process of sending screeners. They also get detailed viewing reports, in real time. Finally, all professionals appreciate the opportunity to see more films, more easily, to find information about films in a more efficient way with the possibility of contacting film rights-holders directly.
Of course, you have direct agreements with film rights-holders?
Festival Scope sets out an agreement with each film’s rights-holders (international sellers or producers) and adapts to their strategy: the films remain online for more or less long periods and certain countries can be excluded if need be. We work in close collaboration to show the films to their best advantage.
Who funds Festival Scope and how much does the service cost?
At the moment, the service is free for all professionals. Subsequently, professionals will pay an annual personal subscription, a bit like for a festival pass. Festival Scope is a completely independent project, set up by film enthusiasts with real experience in international distribution. We’ve received backing from the RIAM (Research and Innovation in Audiovisual and Multimedia) network, a fund co-financed by the CNC and OSEO.