An Audiovisual Digital Forum panel this Friday morning addresses that urgent question.
Panelists’ answers may quickly suggest directions in which new director Jose Luis Rebordinos is steering San Sebastian itself.
The Festival uses 14 digitized screens. This year, Wim Wender’s Pina, Constantin’s The Three Musketeers and, hosted by Antonio Banderas, a 20-minute promo of DreamWorks Animation’s Puss In Boots, all receive 3D screenings.
San Sebastian reflects another major festival makeover: Diversification from dedicated film showcases into the role of industry service orgs.
Film festivals have proliferated. 60 (sic) take place around the world just in September, observed panelist and producer Sandy Lieberson.
“Particularly with cutbacks in government support,” festivals’ competition for new films may not be sustainable, he argued.
So festivals aren’t just focusing on showcasing premieres.
Lieberson points to the Berlinale, with which he w orked closely to create its young-filmmaker Talent Campus.
The Berlin Festival now boasts “a combination of events”: a multiple-section festival, the Martin Gropius-set European Film Market, a Berlinale CoProduction Market, and a World Cinema Fund, which co-finances films from weaker national film industries.
Here, digital distribution opens up new opportunities. Athird panelist, David Capaldi, will present the Cannes Marche du Film’s Cinando, a database and B2B video-on-demand movie service.
Cinando’s online s creenings w ork three ways, said Cannes Marche exec director Jerome Paillard.
One is for sales companies to stream films to targeted distributors or festival programmers.
Also, Cinando offers, on limited timeframe access, both online screenings of market titles at Cannes’ Market, Ventana Sur and AFM, and selective festival catchup screenings – for Cannes, Toronto and Pusan, for example. Cinando’s catch-up screenings will now take in at least 10 San Sebastian Competition titles in a dedicated San Sebastian strand; Festival Scope will screen online Zabaltegi-New Directors titles, said the San Sebastian Festival’s Roberto Cueto.
San Sebastian already offers an array of industry services. It big new bow this year will be Wednesday’s Mexico-Basque Country Co-Production Meeting.
As part of the new fest-team’s mandate to reach out to youth audiences, San Sebastian has staged a Facebook festival photo competition, and is multiplying Facebook and Twitter announcements.
“It’s essential to use online to create a sense of the festival as a social event, a ‘fiesta del cine,’” Cueto.