Theatres are in Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Albania.

The Belgian company XDC International has been selected last week to be the exclusive provider for the implementation of a support programme for the purchase and installation of digital equipment within the network of theatres supported by Eurimages in Turkey, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Albania.

In June this year the Eurimages Board of Management decided to launch theprogramme under which a lump-sum grant of $27,363 (Euros 20,000) per screen would be awarded by Eurimages to exhibitors who operate theatres assisted by the Eurimages theatre support programme. This support can be used to cover the purchase and installation of digital projectors, servers and other related options. Exhibitors receiving support must seek any additional funding from their national or local authorities or through investments from their own equity or private sources to complete the overall financing.

The programme was initiated by the Eurimages Theatres Working Group and first presented at 2009 Sarajevo Film Festival’s Regional Forum co-hosted by Screen International. Official institutions of countries that participated at the Forum agreed to support the digitisation on their end and subsequently the Group negotiated with leading digital cinema integrating companies, which led to the tender procedure after which the XDC International was chosen as the provider.

Asked if he expects the official film bodies of Serbia, Bosnia, Turkey, Albania and Macedonia to match the digitisation support, and how the exhibitors will act, Jovan Marjanovic, Chairman of Eurimages Theatres Working Groups told ScreenDaily: “Serbia’s Ministry of Culture has already pledged matching funding to Eurimages’s for the member theatres on its territory. We also have commitments in principal from officials in other member states covered by the scheme and we expect them to follow suit in the near future. However, the scheme is functional as it is now and the exhibitors who want to move quickly will have to make a higher own investment, but will benefit from reduced pricing on equipment and services, as well as the Eurimages’s EUR20,000 per-screen grants.” 

The Group expects approximately 50 screens in the five territories to be digitised by 2013.