The German exhibitors association HDF has calledon distributors to honour the six-month window for theatrical releases afterseveral cases of films appearing on DVD/video before six months had elapsed.

HDF managing director Andreas Kramer said that'the six month exploitation window for feature films must remain a basicconstant factor. A general reduction will have an effect on all of thefollowing stages of exploitation. That cannot be in the industry's interest.The screening of Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 on television during thetheatrical life must remain an individual case.'

As a move for greater transparency about thecontested issue of theatrical windows, HDF has issued a list of the planned DVDreleases for current or forthcoming cinema releases.

According to the exhibitor association's data,there will only be 62 days between the theatrical opening of 20th Century Fox'sThe Girl Next Door on November 18 and its DVD rental release on January20, 2005.

Similarly, Concorde Film's Wicker Parkwill undermine the 180-day window by scheduling its DVD release 109 days afterthe October 21 theatrical opening on February 10, and Columbia TriStar is setto have the DVD sell-through/rental rollout of The Forgotten on March 8,2005, just 117 days after its November 11 theatrical launch.