Theatres to receive films overnight on internet
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
30/08/2012 - After months of experiments in collaboration with the UK's Unique Digital and Bug Norway, Norwegian distributor SF Norge AS has shelved the dcp hard discs previously used to ship films to the cinemas in favour of transmitting them on the web. After a national digital roll-out, all Norway's 410 screens are digitised.
"Earlier we would send a film on a dcp hard disc, the seize of an old video cassette in an orange plastic box, by mail. Now we transfer the app 100 gigabite file overnight on a encrypted connection – it takes about three hours – and the local operator can access it the following morning with the right code," explained SF Norge Distribution Manager Åge Hoffart.
"We have tested the system over a long period – our last film in the Varg Veum franchise, Trond Espen Seim's Varg Veum - Cold Hearts (pictured) was this spring sent directly to 40 cinemas, and now we can supply more than 90% of the 185 theatres through the web, as the first country in the world," added SF Norge's Managing Director Guttorm Petterson.
A subsidiary of Sweden's Bonnier, Scandinavia's largest media group, the No 1 distributor in Norway has signed a two-year contract with Unique Digital and Bug Norway for the network releasing. UK-based Unique Digital – with offices in Dublin, London, Singapore, Bergen, and headed by Chris Ohlsson-Hagen – is now marketing the solution worldwide.
Having recently dismantled its own production department, SF Norge releases 20th Century Fox, MGM and Warner Bros titles in Norway, adding SF's own acquisitions; domestic films come from part-owned Filmkameratene, deals with Cinenord-Cinenord Kidstory, Monster Film, Zwart Arbeit, and frequent collaborators such as Mer Film.