Arts Alliance Media has recruited another studio for its digital cinema plans: Sony Pictures Releasing International has signed a non-exclusive long-term agreement with the company for digital cinema deployment.

This follows on June 2007 AAM pacts with Fox and Universal and an October 2007 deal with Paramount.

Sony will supply its films in digital format to AAM-deployed, DCI-compliant digital screens and will also make financial contributions to promote digital cinema, in other words signing on for AAM 's 'Virtual Print Fee' plans.

The VPF model is a means to finance digital cinema conversion with both distributors and exhibitors funding costs over time, funded up front by AAM.

AAM plans to convert nearly 7,000 screens in Europe over the next few years. AAM last month signed a deal to convert all 400 screens of France's CGR Cinemas to digital.

Mark Zucker, president of distribution for Sony Pictures Releasing International, said, 'Arts Alliance Media's plan to roll out digital cinema in Europe has been embraced by the industry, and the winners are the moviegoers across Europe who will enjoy a state-of-the-art, higher quality theatrical experience. Through this conversion process, audiences will get to see motion pictures the way filmmakers intended, with beautiful, clear images and pitch perfect sound. Digital cinema is a true revolution in motion picture exhibition and we're proud to be a part of it.'

Howard Kiedaisch, AAM' s CEO added, 'This is a significant show of support for a widespread digital cinema rollout across Europe, and we greatly appreciate all the hard work Sony Pictures has put into reaching this agreement'.