Five European exhibitors plan a digital release of Toy Story 2 from February 2, which will mark the first time a major studio film has been released digitally outside North America. The unprecedented venture is co-sponsored by Disney and Technicolor's digital projection company Real Image.

France's Gaumont and Bert/Claeys Group will host the first digital projections, screening Toy Story 2 via Texas Instruments' projection technology at Gaumont's Aquaboulevard cinema and Bert/Claeys' Kinepolis cinema from Feb 2.

In the UK, Odeon will use the same technology to screen the film for one week exclusively at Odeon Leicester Square in London. UCI's Trafford Centre site and Warner Village's Finchley Road multiplex will screen the Pixar/Disney animation the following week - day and date with Buena Vista International's nationwide 35mm release.

The news follows an announcement by Japan's Gaga Communications (Screendaily, Jan 24) that it also plans a digital release - for computer graphics animation A*LI* CE - on February 25 at the Joy Cinema 3 in Tokyo's Shinjuku district.

Meanwhile, the first British digital black-and-white feature film One Life Stand will premiere at Rotterdam Film Festival on Jan 27 using Digital Projection's (UK) equipment. Produced by Scotland's Elemental Films, the relationship drama, written and directed by May Miles Thoma, will be screened using POWER Displays' projection system using Texas Instruments' Digital Light Processing DLP technology.