The UK’s Cinema Exhibitors’ Association (CEA) had previously announced that they are setting up an organization to support small-to-medium sized exhibitors in the switch to digital, along the lines of the semi-hibernating Cinema Buying Group (CBG) of NATO. CEA’s CEO Phil Clapp commented at the time that:
many [cinemasl also recognise that they are extremely unlikely to be able to secure funding deals to allow them to convert on their own. We strongly believe that the proposed funding group may be the only option to achieve this for a significant majority of small and medium-sized cinema operators.
Now the time has come to appoint someone to head up this mission. From the announcement:
As detailed in an advert appearing in the next edition of Screen International, the CEA is looking to recruit – initially on a six month contract – an individual with the following qualities:
- Experience of work in film distribution and/or exhibition at a senior level, with an understanding of the key industry issues and processes between the two sectors;
- Experience of digital cinema contracts and/or deployment;
- Knowledge of the major US studios and international distributors, including the key decision-makers on issues around digital cinema;
- Proven negotiating skills; and
- Experience of running an organisation at director or a similar senior level.
Key initial tasks for the successful candidate will be to: establish the necessary business, governance and financial structures for the group; undertake an analysis of the current market for digital cinema in relation to group members; and, through discussion with potential funding partners and others, to identify those approaches which might provide a ‘best fit’ for group members with regard to financial support.
It may be somewhat optimistic to think that this can be achieved in six months, but the contract does have an extension option. Expect whoever is appointed to be spending a lot of time on a plane somewhere between Heathrow and LAX.