Strategy for the Digitalization fo Cinemas in the Slovak Republic
The aim of the Strategy for the digitalization of cinemas was to support the continuing digitalization of single-screen cinemas in Slovakia and to create conditions for the development of local culture, of which cinemas have been an integral part for over a hundred years. Continuing the digitalization of single-screen cinemas also creates conditions for the protection and promotion of diversity of cultural expression in film, and the effective circulation of Slovak audio-visual works in the cinema distribution system in Slovakia. The strategy’s main aim was to analyse the situation in the digitalization of Slovak cinemas and to find a suitable way to provide for the digitalization of single-screen cinemas. Cinematography, together with its main distribution platform, the cinema, provide one of the most effective ways of communicating cultural values and also one of the sources of cultural diversity. Cinemas are considered to be important cultural institutions and if we look at them in terms of the number of people who visit them each year, they have an indispensable place in the cultural system. In 2012, 88% of the 154 cinemas in Slovakia were single-screen cinemas, mostly under the management of towns and villages and it was such cinemas that were most at risk in the process of cinema digitalization. Evidence of this was the fact that as at 31 October 2012, 108 cinema screens had been digitalized in Slovakia but only 23 of these were in single-screen cinemas. By comparison, at that time the level of digitalization in multiplex cinemas operated by private companies was 97%. The digitalization of single-screen cinemas in Slovakia operated by towns and villages or co-financed by local government was clearly lagging behind. There was a risk that the process of disappearance of single-screen cinemas which had been happening since the foundation of the Slovak Republic would be accelerated by the move to digitalized cinemas, and it was therefore necessary to act quickly, not later than the first half of 2013, because already in 2012 there were significant problem
The AVF has supported digitalization and other measures to modernize cinemas since 2010 and has made this one of its permanent priorities. In order to accelerate the digitalization of cinemas, the government of the Slovak Republic adopted the Strategy for the digitalization of cinemas in the Slovak Republic on 09 January 2013. This strategy seeks a suitable solution and the necessary funding to digitalize single-screen cinemas.
After the adoption of the strategy, the digitalization of single-screen cinemas accelerated. While in the years 2009–2012, funds from the AVF supported the digitalization of 32 single-screen cinemas, almost the same number – 28 – were digitalized in 2013 alone, and in 2014 support was provided for the digitalization and modernization of 27 cinemas. Another important change is the increased availability of support including combined grants and loans and support for a wider range of renovation activities including the renovation of other cinema equipment and training. In 2015 the AVF supported the digitalization and modernization of another 13 cinemas.
The strategy aimed to achieve the digitalization of 100 out of a total of 115 non-digitalized single-screen cinemas in 2013 and 2014. The aim of the strategy was not only to preserve access to film culture for residents of the Slovak regions, but also to make a significant contribution to the cultural potential of the use of cinemas and the revival of cultural life in the local area. By the end of 2014, support had been provided to a total of 87 cinemas. The objective was achieved in 2015, when the total number of cinemas to which the AVF had provided support for digitalization and modernization reached 100.
prime minister of the Slovak Republic which was earmarked for cinema digitalization. In 2014, the AVF’s support in this area amounted to EUR 559,300 and in 2015 it was EUR 315,000.
Name of NGOs and/or private companies engaged in the implementation of the measure
The AVF does not contribute the full cost of a cinema digitalization and modernization project and the applicant for support must always provide co-financing amounting to either 50%, if an AVF grant is sought, or 10%, if the applicant has requested a combined grant and loan. The implementation of the measure therefore also involves:
- persons implementing the renovation and improvement of technical infrastructure for the presentation of audio-visual works in the territory of the Slovak Republic,
- the operators of audio-visual technical infrastructure in the territory of the Slovak Republic.