Serbian and Bosnian Exhibitors Stump for Teamwork on Digitizing


    Cinema exhibition professionals meeting at the Sarajevo IFF predicted Saturday that public-private partnerships are likely the best way forward in digitizing the aging screening facilities in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Serbia.

    At a panel dubbed the Kinofication Project, fest director Mirsad Purivatra, Bosnian distributor Obala Art Centar's Ena Djozo, Eurimages' Jovan Marjanovic, EU economic rep Jurgis Vilcinskas and head of Serbian distributor MegaCom Film's Igor Stankovic discussed creative solutions to the cost of digital conversion in the economically challenged region.

    While less than a third of Serbia's 123 screens are equipped for digital, Bosnia has just 21 screens, 12 of them digital. Thus, the Sarajevo IFF is backing a plan to team distributors and local authorities in small cities with cultural centers to upgrade facilities. Eurimages is already backing some of conversions of the communist-era halls and MegaCom Film has partnered with Cineplexx to build multiplexes in Belgrade and Kragujevac.

    The project could bring 100 digital screens to Bosnia and Serbia via such partnerships, in which cities may be able to invest just 15 percent of the upgrade cost, industry officials predict. The project also aims for programming and technical advice for exhibitors.