The Île Courts Short Film Festival is held every year in Mauritius and has the objective of promoting international and locally directed films, while developing an audience for different cinema genres. It is a perfect occasion for producers coming from the whole Indian Ocean area to meet and exchange their ideas about contemporary cinema and its trends.
This year, from 10 to 15 October, the festival has celebrated its tenth anniversary with a selection of 96 films projected on four different locations of the island. In addition to training workshops, debates, roundtables and professional meetings, outdoor screenings with AIRSCREEN made the atmosphere of this event even more fascinating. The festival hosted important film-makers like the Mauritian David Constantin, author of Lonbraz Kann, and the French Chantal Richard, with Lili et le baobab and Ce dont mon cœur a besoin.
The Île Courts 2017 involved many different topics of contemporary society, like tolerance, multiculturalism, social exclusion and gender diversity. People visiting the festival had also the possibility to actually take part of it by creating their own short-film or documentary in several writing workshops. They could also learn about the different professions in the cinema industry thanks to training workshops, which were addressed not only to professionals, but also to young amateurs. Finally, the festival also offered a “ciné-concert” and a contest called Film Zekler, dedicated to films which were less than 10 minutes long. The festival and all its meetings were free and open to everyone.
AIRSCREEN is proud to be part of such significant events, which are not only important for the development of local cinema companies, but also an occasion to promote intercultural dialogue and community engagement.
One may be inclined to think that open-air cinemas are a relatively new invention; this couldn’t be further from the truth! So let’s take a look at the history of open-air cinema. In 1895 the Lumière Brothers became the first people to step into this world with the invention of cinematography. From this invention came the name ‘Cinema’ which is the word still used today. At the time this device was being used, it was only possible to show films of up to one minute in length. At the start of the 20th century these ‘living photographs’ as they were known, were to be seen in variety halls and theatres, it wasn’t until 1907 that the first moving cinema was created.
The moving cinemas however didn’t last long. They couldn’t keep up with what the movie theatres could offer which was more comfort and more choice. The oldest and longest running open-air cinema is to be found in Australia. Since 1916 ‘Sun Pictures’ have been organising open-air cinema events and cinema evenings. The fact that this open-air cinema has been the longest running in history isn’t just appreciated by the thousands of viewers that have enjoyed many an evening there, but also the Guinness World Book of Records.
In 1933 the world’s first ever drive-in cinema was established in the USA. The ‘Camden Drive-in’ in New Jersey opened its doors to the muscles cars and the classic American old timers. However the 1950’s were the absolute boom period for the drive-in, in the USA. The 50’s brought a wave of cinema closures and bust cinema chains, however the drive-in became stronger and larger and became the hottest ticket in town. The James Dean Films, cheaper tickets and the private atmosphere of sitting in your own car all added to the magic of the drive-in. It wasn’t only the Americans enjoying the drive-in cinema, but also the Europeans wanted a slice of the action. The first drive-in in Europe is to be found in Frankfurt and this is still used today. The following decades saw a decline in the drive-in and a rise in the more commonly found today, Multiplexes. These had smaller screens but much more choice for the modern film lover.
The fascination of watching films outdoors never really died out however and at the end of the 1980’s the new wave of open-air cinemas which are still to be found today in fact, opened their doors to the public. Next to the traditional Greek open-air cinemas of Athens or the Island of Santorini, newer open-air cinemas were springing up in cities such as Berlin, Nuremberg and Zurich. It was at this point where the inflatable screen, the AIRSCREEN came in to action. With the assistance of the inflatable frame the need for scaffold constructions diminished and thus the ease of open-air cinema rose. This meant that practically everywhere could be turned into an open-air cinema in the matter of a moment. The first prototype AIRSCREEN was used at an open-air festival in 1994. Inflatable screens has been used since then at thousands of events all over the world. Mobile cinema is however not only made possible due to the revolutionary inflatable screen, but also the wonderful locations it can take place in.
Of course the great advantage of mobile cinema is that it can go practically anywhere. The world can provide the perfect backdrop to your film whether it is a big landmark like Trafalgar Square in the United Kingdom, a wonderful park or lake such as Lake Michigan, USA or a huge stadium such as the Nou Camp in Barcelona, there are no limits to the backdrops to an open-air cinema. However there’s one thing you can be sure of, wherever the backdrop, the AIRSCREEN provides fantastic screen technology for the world of outdoor cinema.