The Event Cinema Association (ECA), the global industry trade body representing the production, distribution and exhibition of event cinema, celebrated 10 years of activity during a slate event and awards ceremony at Empire Cinemas, Walthamstow London on 26 January 2023.
The celebration ended with a ceremony where the best event cinema releases of 2022 in terms of global box office were rewarded, but also the best players in the industry were recognized for their achievements and continuous support of the industry.
Attended by over 200 members and supporters from around the world, the ECA celebrated an important milestone: 10 years since its establishment. The trade association has been paramount to the development of the event cinema industry over the past decade. Its unparalleled support of the sector has shifted and evolved throughout the years based on the needs of the community. Whether it was technical guidance in the early days of the live events, or promotional support for emerging content categories, the ECA has consistently been on the forefront of growth in this field.
Commenting on the event, ECA Board Director Grainne Clarke said “The ECA remains committed to showcasing new events and giving event cinema the platform and visibility, it deserves across the industry. The diversity and abundance of new content shown certainly galvanized an exciting revival of event cinema for cinemas and audiences to look forward to in 2023. This, coupled with celebrating the anniversary of the ECA and acknowledging key partners who have significantly contributed and championed event cinema over the years, left attendees with a hugely positive outlook for the year ahead. These events are only possible with the contributions of our presenters and sponsors, so a huge thank you must go to all of them for making the event the success it was.”
ECA events have always offered the industry a chance to get together, network and learn. But to mark this year 10-year milestone, the ECA decided to culminate Slate Day by recognizing not only the best performing events of 2022, but also excellency across the last decade in the industry. The ECA awards were proudly sponsored this year by The Coca Cola Company, a well-known supporter in the field of event cinema.
Six events have been awarded for their exemplary performance in 2022 across a number of genres that contribute to global event cinema box office cumulating a total of over USD $263 million.
The ECA involved its members and industry colleagues to vote for the best Event Cinema title from the past decade, along with recognizing excellency in exhibition, distribution and technical support.
ECA members voted Piece of Magic Entertainment as the Best Event Cinema Distributor. The company behind André Rieu in Cinemas, an immense contributor and the real poster-child of Event Cinema, continues to grow this cinematic phenomenon whilst having expanded their business into Feature Films, Documentaries, Anime and Gaming, becoming an established force in international theatrical distribution.
Welcoming the Award, Piece of Magic’s CEO, Caspar Nadaud said, “We are incredibly proud that exhibitors around the world have recognized the work that we do and have voted for POM to receive this award. Event Cinema remains an important component of our business and as we take greater steps to expand, develop and innovate as an international theatrical distributor, we look forward to a very exciting future ahead.”
The prize for Best Exhibitor was handed to Vue International. The largest privately owned cinema operator in Europe, operates 1990 screens across 227 sites in nine countries, has been recognized for their continuous commitment to screening and promoting event cinema content over the past 10 years:
Johnny Carr, founding ECA Board Member and Group Event Cinema Manager for Vue International said of the award: “We are incredibly honoured and thrilled to receive this recognition from the global event cinema community, consisting of fellow exhibitors, distributors, trade publications and technology partners. This is the culmination of many years of focus on the big screen event cinema experience and testament to the hard work of our content, marketing and operations teams across nine countries.”
The prize for the best technical supplier was taken home by Deluxe. Deluxe is a world leading content creation to distribution company, offering global end to end services in localisation, distribution and media technology for theatrical through to streaming. Deluxe is a global partner in delivering Event Cinema to audiences in North America, UK and Europe, using electronic and physical distribution channels for live and as-live events.
“What an amazing day at this years’ ECA Slate Day. Deluxe were proud to sponsor this year’s event and to be awarded with Best Technical Partner by the ECA was truly an absolute honour. Thank you to all at the ECA for putting on this fabulous event and for those who voted for us, we will continue push technology for the best screening experience.” (Rob Dunne, VP Deluxe Cinema).
And last, but definitely not least, National Theatre’s “Fleabag” was voted as the best event cinema title of the last 10 years. National Theatre Live brings world-class theatre straight from our stages, partner theatres and London’s West End to cinema screens across the UK and around the globe. Since 2009, NT Live has broadcast or distributed more than 90 plays, seen by over 11.5 million people worldwide. With state-of-the-art filming techniques – capturing close-up flickers of emotion to sweeping wide shots of the stage – our audiences always have the best seat in the house.
On the Event Cinema Association’s Awards, National Theatre Live said: “We are delighted to have received the award for Best Event of the Decade for the National Theatre Live broadcast of “Fleabag”. Thank you so much to everyone who voted and to the co-producers on this release, DryWrite, Soho Theatre and Annapurna Theatre. When we brought “NT Live: Fleabag” to cinemas in 2019, the production was playing a sold-out run in the West End, and we were thrilled to be able to share Phoebe’s incredible performance with people all over the world. The overwhelming reaction we saw from audiences demonstrated the huge, and continuing appetite for event cinema. We look forward to creating more collective moments with audiences in cinemas, this year and beyond!”
Onwards and upwards to the next 10 years! The ECA is optimistically looking towards the future and is committed to continuing championing this important sector of the industry.
About the Event Cinema Association
The Event Cinema Association (ECA) supports and promotes event cinema on behalf of the industry and its members. Championing the growth and raising awareness of this evolving business of ‘Big Screen’ content. Members of the Association include exhibitors, distributors and vendors.
Event cinema is one of the biggest growth areas of cinema programming. Event cinema content has successfully packaged and delivered a fruitful model that attracts new audiences to cinemas. Audiences that want to enjoy a shared experience of magical moments – whether it be opera, ballet, music, gaming – event cinema is entertaining audiences outside of the traditional forms.
The Event Cinema Association represents a wide range of global professionals who work in or support event cinema content. Whether you distribute, showcase or facilitate the delivery of event cinema content, the association will consider your membership involvement.