ECOCINEMA: Battle against inequality in Latin America

The charm of outdoor cinema is gaining more and more relevance today: Not only does it break our routine but it is also the perfect excuse to share time with our friends and family in a way that traditional cinemas do not allow. A reason to this, are the entertainment possibilities that revolve around outdoor cinema, in which the members of the audience are able to interact with each other before sitting down to watch the movie. Plus, this type of event offers the option to watch movies with the perfect backdrop, what we have been able to witness throughout different sceneries like the magnificent Austrians alps, the imposing St. Mark´s Square in Venice, the idyllic beaches of Cancun and the Maldives Islands, among other beautiful places.

Those who know AIRSCREEN –the original inflatable screen made in Germany- are already familiarized with these aspects. However, today we want to talk about a branch of cinema, which aims at outpointing the concept of movies as entertainment to become a tool of awareness and self-questioning. Behind this type of cinema, there are some companies, who not only intend to democratize the access to cinema by taking it to remote and least favored places, but also strive to spread the message about renewable energies as a sustainable way of living.

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Today we want to tell the story behind Ecocinema, an Uruguayan audiovisual platform and movie producer, who actively projects its movies through mobile cinema in Latin-America since 2006. Before we continue, for those who are not familiarized with this type of cinema, it basically works through the implementation of solar panels located on the rooftop of a car. These provide sufficient energy for the whole equipment to work. In the case of Ecocinema, they also match their solar-based movie projections with workshops, which are aligned with the movie´s thematic. This means that they make the most of their time, by inviting their spectators to participate in their workshops throughout daytime until it gets dark, when movie time begins.

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View of Ecocinema´s van with the “Hand of the Desert” close to Antofagasta, Chile.

Initially, the main goal of this company was to find a way to distribute their own movies during summer in Uruguay, a country that only had a couple of cinemas during those days. Because of this, Ecocinema´s outdoor projections were highly innovative and very well received by their audience. However, as time went by, they wanted to increment their activities by trespassing the Uruguayan frontiers and also aimed at giving a more meaningful and educative twist to their movies. In addition to this new vision that was developed in 2011, the following year happened to be the United Nation´s year of sustainability. This was the perfect drive for them to decide changing their traditional equipment to 100% solar one. They took advice from Solar Cinema, a Dutch company who also performs in this field, to renovate both their concept and gear.

Moreover, further investigations backed up and motived the continuation of their activities. An example is the study published by the organization “Transparency International”, which condemned corruption as the main root of inequality in Latin America. What is more, some statics indicated that only 3 out of every 10 Latin Americans had access to cinema, which gave Ecocinema a strong sense of purpose to be an agent that attacks these problematics. The movie screenings are completely free what is made possible through the sponsorship of brands, as well as local and international monetary funds. Their movies deal with different topics, such as climate change, sport, aborigines, corruption, among others.

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The first movie projections outside of Uruguay took place in Mexico, where Ecocinema found partners who were also strongly identified with the importance of culture, and were passionate about mobile cinema. Since then, their eco-vans have expanded their activities in Chile, Argentina, Brasil, Ecuador, Panama and very soon in Colombia as well. Another objective to highlight of this Uruguayan firm is that not only they want to create new audiences, but also want to restore the use of public spaces to foster a peaceful coexistence among the people. This is especially important for some communities that Ecocinema reaches, which have had a criminal background and other related issues to violence. In these cases, the movies that are shown are not produced by Ecocinema and their main purpose is to create an enjoyable atmosphere so that families and friends gather up to have fun.

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We want to stress the importance of these activities, which pass on to people both the message of the movie as well as the possibility of implementing renewable energies as a sustainable way of living. So we hope that the story of Ecocinema and their work inspire more entrepreneurs in the world to take action in this field, which is increasingly gaining more relevance in our lives. Your AIRSCREEN team will always be happy to support projects that aim at improving our lives in several aspects. Do you need an inflatable screen for your next project? Click here to contact us here!

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Thank you Ecocinema for the interview! We feel very proud to work with you!

For more information on Ecocinema, click this link https://www.ecocinema.net

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26th CineEurope 19-22 June in Barcelona, Spain

Every year the world of film and cinema congregates for the trade show CineEurope, this year once again taking place at the Centro de Convenciones Internacional in Barcelona, Spain (CCIB). With visitors expected from all over the world the CineEurope is once again exciting the cinema industry.

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Many of the worlds largest companies in the cinema sector will be exhibiting their newest products with Christie, Barco, NEC and Sony forming just a few of the big name firms in attendance. As well as the exhibition, the CineEurope is also known for its exclusive film previews of brand new films from the likes of Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox and Universal. Not only this but industry experts will be on hand to offer workshops on the ‘Future of Cinema’ or ‘Social Media Marketing’.

Anybody looking to get more information on the world of open-air cinema or the use of inflatable screens in this sector should make their way to stand 823 where the AIRSCREEN Company will be on hand to offer advice on the best screens for your open-air cinema needs.

Dutch Game Masters – eSports on a big inflatable screen

Paris St. Germain vs. Real Madrid – it sounds like the final in the FIFA Champions League. The game was not played by the real stars, but on the PlayStation. In the stadium of PSV Eindhoven the gamers were able to play the final on a 16m x 8m inflatable movie screen.

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The Dutch Game Masters welcomed 128 teams, each consisting of 2 players. It was not the football shoe, but rather the gamepad and the thumb to determine in which direction the virtual player should run or shoot.

 

eSports enjoys great popularity all over the world and has long been more than a hobby for professional players in the US and China. Incomes of more than $1 million is not a rarity here. Perhaps instead of open-air or drive-in cinemas we will be seeing more such events on mobile outdoor screens soon.

Ben & Jerry’s Movie Nights with AIRSCREEN

Peace, Love & Ice Cream – that was the slogan of the Ben & Jerry’s Movie Nights. True to its corporate values like responsibility and social commitment, the open-air cinema tour was held for free.

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For three hours people had the chance to taste new flavours like Raspberry Cheesecake and Cookie Dough ‘Wich. After sunset the inflatable movie screen was set up and the very popular French movie “The Intouchables” was shown.

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The pop-up cinema stopped over in the biggest cities in Germany. All events were incredibly well attended so surely they will be on tour again next year. Our partner EVENTED will make sure that everything will run smoothly.

 

2016 UEFA European Championships on big inflatable screen in Azerbaijan (Olympic Stadium)

After the Olympic Stadium Baku (Azerbaijan) was completed in the spring of 2015 it was the venue for the European Games, where 6,000 athletes from 50 countries could compete in different disciplines. The stadium also meets the highest FIFA and UEFA standards and is the venue of preliminaries and quarter finals of the European Football Championship 2020.

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As a foretaste of the events to come the current soccer championships are shown on an inflatable movie screen. With over 68,000 seats comes almost automatically a fantastic atmosphere. In addition to sporting events various concerts will take place at the Olympic stadium and fill one of the most modern and beautiful stadiums with life.

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“It started out as a hobby”

Michael Woll from EVENTED (Germany)

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Michael Woll, EVENTED, Ensdorf (Germany)
AIRSCREEN user since 1999

To begin with, can you tell us something about your company?
My name is Michael Woll and I’m the managing director of EVENTED in Germany. We host outdoor movie and drive-in cinema events in Germany, France and Switzerland. We are a team of around five people and spend the summertime, the main season for outdoor cinema, travelling to the different locations, supplying various open-air cinema events with movie screens, projectors and sound systems.

When did you start working in the open-air cinema business?
We have been working with AIRSCREEN for 17 years now. Back then we were looking for a system which was easy to install and resistant against winds in the open field and found it in AIRSCREEN which we still use.

What brought you to the open-air cinema business?
Like many others in the outdoor movie world it started out as a hobby. So first it was just for the fun of it and as events grew bigger and bigger I ended up here with lots of screens and events all over Central Europe.

What do you particullary like about it?
The great thing about open-air cinema is that you are able to tell a story. The story being told on the screen in an unusual setting. It’s not the familiar environment of a regular indoor cinema which has the same appearance everytime you go there. Every time it is a different setting with new challenges. So I need to find a way to cast a spell over the audiences with the help of the environment I find at a particular location.

Which screen sizes do you own?
For outdoor purposes we have screen sizes from 32ft (10m) up to 80ft (24m). For indoor events or smaller outdoor cinemas we use the AIRSCREEN airtight models e.g. the 24ft (7.32m). One benefit which accounts for all sizes is that the frame also can be used as a giant inflatable billboard.

What are your favourite events
I like series of events taking place at historic settings. For example «Gladiator» at an historic Roman bath or «Highlander» in an ancient castle. I also really enjoy drive-in cinema with movie classics like «Bullitt» especially if the spectators show up with vintage cars. It is great fun when the setting and the movie become one.

What is the challenge for you as a technical supplier here?
The challenge for us is to have equipment which adopts to the environment, as the location itself hardly can be changed. For example the screen needs to be designed for easy transport. If you have a delicate grass location for example which should not be harmed so that you cannot use heavy equipment like truss construction. Or a historic castle which gives no room for a fork lift.

What do you think is it that the audience fascinates about watching movies outdoors?
The audience knows that they get a unique experience which can not be replicated so easily. Because of this thrill people love outdoor cinema events and like to watch movies which they already know.

What are the challenges for you as an open-air cinema provider in the future ?
Bringing exciting movies to exceptional places. I guess that an event with a standard movie in a familiar environment has served its time; proper concepts and good movies are needed.

What makes an AIRSCREEN a safe product?
AIRSCREEN is an extremely flexible product when it comes to the set-up. This means that we can deflate the screen very quickly and have it flat on the ground within 20 to 30 sec if the weather changes dramatically. If you have a thunderstorm for instance, which happens quite often in Germany during the summer, you can keep the audience safe and also continue the screening right after its over. Another 5 min and the screen is up in the air again.

Can you name further advantages of the product?
One of the biggest advantages is the efficiency of the system. That is the amount of resources you need to set up a screen which is 59ft (18m) wide and 36ft (11m) high. If you bear in mind that this screen can be set up with four people in 1.5 hours, it is a very good ratio compared to existing alternatives. For our customers this also means that short term events become very affordable. Apart from that the inflatable framework gives us great flexibility on the spot. Depending on the evironment you can tilt the screen a little bit, move it a few meters to the front or back, etc.

Outdoor movie night powered by human energy

We already know the solar cinema and here comes another eco-friendly idea: bicycle powered pop-up cinema! Through constant but relaxed pedaling people can generate the electricity for a whole outdoor cinema event, including the projector and the inflatable movie screen (AIRSCREEN).

Inflatable movie screen powered by bicycles

In 2013 the UK-based company Electric Pedals developed a pedal-powered cinema backpack kit which they used to show educational films. Nowadays there are 14 of these mobile cinemas around the world.

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Apart from that the pedaling can also power music stages or light installations and is also used for workshops, art installations and even for illuminating Christmas trees.

For more information visit www.electricpedals.com