Finalists to be showcased at CineEurope in Barcelona.

The International Union of Cinemas/Union Internationale des Cinémas (UNIC) has launched a new Cinema: Digital Innovation Award. Finalists will be showcased at the CineEurope conference in Barcelona, June 18-20and the winner will receive a €5000 cash prize.

UNIC has established the prize with hoping to stimulate new thinking in reaching out to cinema audiences through digital technology, including the internet, social media and smart phone apps. Both individuals and corporations are invited to submit project proposals outlining innovative ways of reaching new audiences. The application deadline is May 31.

Jan Runge, CEO of UNIC, says the purpose of the award is to spark innovation: “Social media, location based services and smart phone apps that often mash diverse data sources in innovative ways change how we make lifestyle and entertainment choices. A smart social app on your phone can, for example, be as influential in determining what you will do on a Wednesday evening as a good review in the newspaper. We wish to examine whether there is untapped potential for cinemas in this context.”

Applications will be reviewed by a select committee chaired by the UK-based consultant Peter Buckingham. Shortlisted candidates will be given the chance to present their ideas to industry heavyweights at the CineEurope conference in Barcelona, as the guests of CineEurope.